Tag Archives: autumn recipes

Heart-warming miso and noodle soup

16 Mar

This is a great soup for those early March nights when you, by rights, had expected the weather to be getting warmer, but when it is totally incorrectly freezing. Compounded with that, it’s an exceptionally healthy soup which is perfect for when, on those freezing early March nights, you decide to run straight home after work and skip the gym because it’s too cold. In the gym. Umm.

Miso and noodle soup

  • 2.5 TBSP shiro (or light) miso paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 shallot sliced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 8 shitake or dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 C cauliflower
  • 1/4 C wakame seaweed
  • 750ml (3 C) water
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 packet thick udon noodles

In a bowl, cover dried mushrooms with 250ml of hot water.

In a hot pot, heat a bit of vegetable oil and cook shallot and garlic until they have a bit of colour.

Add water, cauliflower (or other vegetable), miso paste and mushrooms with the water they were soaking in, keeping the water at a simmer.

Once mushrooms are softened and cooked enough to eat – say 15 – 20 minutes after they first started soaking – add the noodles.

Cook for another few minutes until noodles are cooked through.

Serve with spring onion and some Japanese chili flakes.

Estimated cost:£1.80

Musical accompaniment: Classical somesuch


All in! Bombay [potatoes] Express

23 Nov

Normally Man Woman don’t buy potatoes. So ignorant is Man Woman of potato culture, that we had to buy one of the pre-packaged 1kg bags of potatoes from the supermarket which has the ‘good for…’ list on it because we were too ashamed to ask our local green grocer which potatoes we need for what (incidentally, we needed potatoes that wouldn’t go floury or crumble).

As a result, we had a lot more potatoes than we two people would normally know what to do with. Man suggested a Bombay Potatoes, and as Woman googled what this actually was, we decided that the flavouring was too good to leave to potatoes alone. All in!

All in Bombay Express! (serves 4)

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 3 – 4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 1 cm piece of ginger finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 3 – 4 mid-sized potatoes (already par-boiled)
  • 1/2 C lentils, soaked and cooked
  • 4 leaves of rainbow Swiss chard (does Swiss chard need capital ‘S’?)
  • 1/2 C peas
  • 4-5 medium very ripe tomatoes
  • plentiful salt

Prior to everything else, par or totally boil the potatoes. Prepare and cook lentils.

Heat oil (about a tablespoon or two) in a large pan. When hot, add mustard seeds, then other spices, ginger and garlic. Add potatoes, lentils and peas. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add tomatoes cooking until they reduce down slightly. Finally add swiss chard (or other greens) about 2 minutes before serving.

Keep tasting to adjust spices to own peculiar tastes.

Top with chopped coriander and yoghurt if so desired. Can serve alone or with naan or rice.

Estimated cost: £1.50 (got some really cheap tomatoes)

Musical accompaniment:  Afrocubism

Mushroom and Stilton (blue cheese) tortelli

22 Nov

The ownership of a pasta maker is a challenging thing. We’ve gone at least a year between making any pasta at home, because often the store-bought stuffed pastas are on sale and suffice for a quick mid-week meal.

But making pasta yourself does allow you to make some rather nice stuffings. Having been reminded of how much ‘fun’ (albeit time consuming) making and eating fresh homemade pasta is, we’ll probably be trying it again sometime soon and posting any decent results we come up with.

Mushroom & Stilton tortelli

  • 2 C mix of chestnut and portobello mushrooms diced (get wild mushrooms if you can. We couldn’t)
  • 150g Stilton or other blue cheese (we used Tesco’s Finest, which is really quite decent and very cheap)
  • 1 TBSP red onion, finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBSP creme fraiche

1/2 egg pasta dough recipe

Cook down onions and mushrooms (diced into small cubes) in a bit of butter in a fry pan, adding splashes of balsamic vinegar and salt. Drain excess liquid (but keep to use as stock within the next day or two) and mix in crumbled Stilton and creme fraiche.

To make the tortelli, cut large squares of pasta dough – about 10cm – and place a generous tablespoon dollop of the mushroom-Stilton mix in the centre of a square. Press down to remove any air bubbles.  Top with another (ideally slightly larger) pasta square and press down around the mushroom dollop, working from the top and around (see pic in the egg pasta dough recipe).

Boil for about 3 – 6 minutes.

You can, however, use this mix in any kind of pasta shape. We decided on big ones ’cause we’re lazy, also because they make a nice looking starter. For a starter we placed one large tortelli over a buttered portobello mushroom and drizzled truffle oil, creme fraiche and crumbled Stilton over the top.

For a main we lightly steamed some swiss chard over the boiling pasta, and served ourselves 4 or 5 tortelli each, topped with creme fraiche and black pepper.

Estimated cost: £6

Musical accompaniment: Woman’s playlist on Last.fm

Mushroom-sauerkraut pierogi with paprika dill sauce

18 Nov

This is totally delicious. A bit finnicky, but worth it. Trust us.

These are all really traditional Polish flavours, but we’ve substitute sour cream for plain yoghurt (about a tenth of the fat content and Man Woman’s favourite ingredient in anything). Polish food is not something I imagine I would like, but particularly around autumn, it’s entirely comforting and this dish is suprisingly delicate and (bordering on) light.

(Only make the yoghurt sauce if you love paprika, we think it could potentially work even better with plain yoghurt/creme fraiche/sour cream)

Mushroom-sauerkraut pierogi
1/3 one portion of pierogi dough


  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, diced
  • the same volume of sauerkraut
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1.5 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP yoghurt

Paprika dill yoghurt sauce

  • 1/2 C Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Hungarian (or hot) paprika
  • salt
  • 3 long stalks of dill, chopped finely

Dice mushrooms into small cubes (no bigger than 1cm square) and fry in a bit of butter. When softening, add garlic and soy sauce. Fry on medium heat for another 5 minutes.

Mix mushrooms, sauerkraut and yoghurt in a bowl. Strain the mix in a sieve, keeping the excess fluid.

Place 1 heaped teaspoon of mix into pierogi dough discs (about 8cm in diameter), and close.

Make pierogi according to standard technique.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt ingredients.

Estimated cost: £1.90

Musical accompaniment: National Public Radio interview with Neil Young

Pierogi dough (Polish dumplings)

17 Nov

Oh no, not another Polish pierogi recipe, I hear you say. And you’ll be right. But also a little bit wrong. This is the Man Woman take on this Polish staple where we throw in a little bit of wholemeal flour and, you guessed it, yoghurt.

Pierogi (makes 36 pierogi, serves 4-6)

  • 2 C white flour
  • 2 C wholemeal flour (we used strong flours for both types)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C plain yoghurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C warm water

Sift flours into large bowl. Combine all ingredients.

In batches, roll out dough until it’s about 2mm thick. Cut into discs with large cookie cutter (we used some odd egg frying shapers which we’ve never actually used for frying eggs). Our discs were about 8cm in diameter.

Place filling (whatever you fancy) in a small dense circular blob in the centre of the dough discs. Pinch closed.

Boil filled pierogi for 3 – 5 minutes in batches. Most should start to float. Then fry off with a knob of butter in a fry pan, turning after sides get browned (don’t be afraid of a few burnt patches).


Estimated cost: £1.10

Musical accompaniment: Glen A Richards, Glimjack

Roasted sweet potato gnocchi with blue cheese & tomato jam

16 Nov

Man Woman has had mixed experience of homemade gnocchi. The first time Woman had a go, she forgot to add any binding agent, ending up dropping carefully rolled gnocchi dollop after carefully rolled gnocchi dollop into a pot of what, with time, became just soup.

The second time Woman took far more care, and cooked her spinach ricotta gnocchi on the fry pan and then baked in the oven. This was two years ago.

This time, we went traditional in method, freakin’ krazy in ingredient (not quite). And I think you’ll find the marriage of sweet potato, the bite of blue cheese and the gentle heat of the tomato jam work fairly well. I think you will.

Sweet potato gnocchi (serves four)

  • 600g sweet potato (orange flesh kind)
  • 250 – 300g pasta (plain) white flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Lots of ground black pepper
  • Salt

Tomato jam (serves 2)

  • 1 can chopped tomato
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves
  • Dash balsamic vinegar
  • Few shakes nanami togarashi (what, you don’t have nanami togarashi? Geez. Any chili flakes will do)
  • 120g Stilton or other blue cheese
  • 1 giant leaf of rainbow swiss chard (or other leafy green)

Making the gnocci

Roast sweet potato in thick chunks in an oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until soft. (Alternately you can boil, but we’ve read that roasting them dries them out making for better gnocchi). Remove skin and mash. Mix in part of flour and the egg (beaten until yolk loosened). Add salt and pepper. Keep adding flour until dough is firm enough to be rolled into long sausages, but still springy and slightly wet.

Roll into long sausages and cut into 2 cm chunks. Press with fork and flour with semolina to prevent sticking. These can be frozen, boiled straight away (about 5 minutes – until they float) or left in the fridge overnight. It’s best to let them dry out for a while before doing any of the above.

The rest

Make tomato jam by sweating down onions and garlic, then adding tomatoes. Add salt and chili to taste (if you buy Napolina tinned tomatoes, you won’t be needing any sugar). Cook for at least 20 minutes over medium heat until the sauce is thick.

Steam chard over gnocchi as you boil it. Serve all with Stilton crumbled over top.

Estimated cost:£3.80

Musical accompaniment: The Rosie Taylor Project

Baked apple with orange and hazelnuts

15 Nov

It’s getting to the real comfort food time of year now. This is just a baked apple, and as such probably not entirely deserving of a post, but it serves as a little reminder to ourselves how heart-cockle-warming this can be. This is the hot water bottle of desserts (or we had it for breakfast yesterday); it’s simple, cheap and makes you feel all superior for not wasting energy on central heating/eating healthy.

Baked apple with orange and hazelnuts

  • 1 large Bramley apple, chopped into large cubes
  • 2 – 3 tsp of hazelnuts
  • 3cm chunk of orange zest, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp raisins or sultanas

Mix all ingredients. Cook in oven at 180C for 20 minutes or until fruit has gone brown on top and jammy underneath.

We like to serve it with yoghurt and agave or some berry jam. If you are less pure of soul and artery, you could always go for cream or custard.

Estimated cost: £1.20

Musical accompaniment: The Kinks

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