The Scamp’s Cooking Corner

I still have yet to make a list of the 22 things I’d like to do in 2022, but I think cooking one new recipe a week is going to be there. I’ll then use it as a cooking corner here so that people can see my progress. I used to be a good cook and really enjoyed trying new recipes. Then the PhD and the slow cooker disaster of 2018 happened and I got lazy.

and fat.

The second week of the year I made fish tacos. They were amazing. They can be seen in the previous post. Last week I decided to make a soup. It was a kale, pasta and cannellini bean soup (the recipe can be found here: https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/kale-pasta-and-cannellini-bean-soup.html. The process of making the soup was fun, but it didn’t really taste as great as I was hoping. I didn’t use enough broth and had too much pasta, so it ended up more like a pasta salad type creation. I’m not sure that I would make it again. Just in case the link disappears one day, here is the full recipe:

kale, pasta and cannellini bean soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, half roughly chopped, half thinly sliced
  • 500g carton passata
  • 100g kale
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10g fresh rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 750ml
  • 150g margheritine soup pasta
  • 10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and chopped garlic and cook for 15 mins until soft and caramelised.
  2. Stir in the passata, kale, beans (mash a few first if you prefer a thicker soup), rosemary and stock. Simmer for 10 mins; season. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 mins more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 3-4 mins until lightly browned and crispy, then tip into a small bowl.
  4. Divide the soup between bowls and top with the parsley and crispy garlic. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Tip: Make it vegan by using a stock pot instead of a cube.

On Saturday I decided to make my own salsa. I miss Mexican food a lot, and one of the hardest things to get here is a good salsa. The upside is, I can find all of the ingredients of a good salsa and I own a blender, so in less than ten minutes, I was able to create enough salsa to last me five days.

Salsa Prep

The recipe can be found here: https://houseofyumm.com/ready-the-chips-its-salsa-time/, but in case the link ever goes away, the recipe is:

INGREDIENTS

  • ▢1 (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, OR 1 pound fresh tomatoes
  • ▢1 (10 oz can) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • ▢3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ▢½ onion, roughly chopped
  • ▢1 jalapeno , deseeded and membranes removed
  • ▢½ tbsp honey
  • ▢½ cup cilantro
  • ▢¼ tsp salt
  • ▢Juice from 1/2 lime

EQUIPMENT

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare Ingredients: Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic to the food processor and pulse until chopped up.
  • Pulse: Add in the tomatoes and continue to pulse until the tomatoes break down and release juices.
  • Season: Add in honey, salt, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, and juice of 1/2 lime (start slow with the lime as it can overpower, you can taste and add more if desired)
  • Blend: Pulse in the processor to desired consistency. Chunky or smooth. Taste and adjust salt, honey, or lime juice as needed.

VIDEO

NOTES

  • Tomatoes: recipe can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes, or use a mixture of the two. The 1 pound of fresh tomatoes will replace using both the cans of diced tomatoes. 
  • Chile: this recipe is made using jalapeno, removing the seeds and membranes makes for a nice mild salsa. If you personally want more heat add in extra jalapeno or even a Serrano pepper.
  • Honey: adding this cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes and gives a smooth flavoring.
  • Salt: taste and adjust as needed in this recipe. 
  • Storage: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Salsa too thin? Simply strain out some of the liquid.

NUTRITION

serving: 11/3 cup, calories: 25kcal, carbohydrates: 6g, protein: 1g, fat: 1g, saturated fat: 1g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 1g, sodium: 197mg, potassium: 67mg, fiber: 1g, sugar: 4g, vitamin a: 232iu, vitamin c: 9mg, calcium: 13mg, iron: 1mg

finished product

I used a blender rather than a food processer and added some hotter peppers because I like spicy salsa, and I was not disappointed. It is so good. I’ve made nachos, quesadillas, spicy breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs. I am a happy happy girl.

Now that I have been able to master some easy recipes from Tesco, I think it is time to try something else, something with a different protein, like chicken, or fish that aren’t in fish stick form and see what I can do. Eventually, I will try to cook something in the slow cooker, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. That chicken disaster still haunts me.

3 comments

  1. Benmadley777 · March 12

    Love the post! First time visitor. Something for you and your readers to try: Regarding making salsa. Believe this or not, it is true. I went down to Mexico a small small town and I watched a woman prepare salsa by hand. Not a blender. Not a dicer. Yes I’m referring to the mashing up part. Don’t do it by hand, but use a potato smasher. For some reason using a blender effects the taste. Try it and you will see.

    • erranteditor · March 12

      This is def something I am going to try next time then!

  2. Benmadley777 · March 12

    I always used a blender, until a year or so after I recalled seeing that woman prepare salsa. So I gave it a shot using a potato masher….I would imagine using a molcajete ‘the volcanic rock’s stome that Hispanics use would work the same. Something about not cutting it up so small that changes the taste.

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