Sunday, 26 October 2014

Miso Broth with Shiitakes, Pak Choi & Soba Noodles

It's that time again! Another delicious recipe for Suma Bloggers Network... this time it's one of my absolute favourite dishes. A regular go-to in our house, especially if you feel like you need a boost. I adore Clearspring products and Suma Wholefoods have gathered together the best bits of their range. These are the products I have chosen...

(L-R: Clearspring Organic Brown Rice Miso, Kallo Organic Mushroom Stock, Clearspring Japanese Organic Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Clearspring Organic Tamari Soya Sauce, Clearspring 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles)

With such amazing ingredients you'd be hard-pushed not to be able to create something delicious. Miso soup is a Japanese staple and this version is packed with goodness. Warming and hydrating with an immense depth of flavour, mMiso Broth with Shiitakes, Pak Choi & Soba Noodles is incredibly satisfying. The pak choi delivers a fresh element in contrast to the richness of the broth and the whole thing is just plain mouth-watering.

To serve 2, you will need:

1 medium White Onion
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 Celery Heart, with leaves
25g Clearspring Japanese Organic Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
500ml Kallo Organic Mushroom Stock 
1 med/hot Chilli 
2 x Pak Choi
80g Soba Noodles
Splash of Clearspring Tamari Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Clearspring Organic Brown Rice Miso

Firstly soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Whilst they're soaking finely dice the white onion and celery heart. Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep pan and add the onion and celery. On a medium heat sweat for 7 minutes. 

Use your personal heat preference in choosing your chilli. I like to use a scotch bonnet in this recipe but a large med-hot green chilli will do if you want to keep it to a more manageable heat. Finely slice your choice of chilli, removing the seeds if you wish, and add to the pan. Cook with the onion and celery for 3-4 minutes. 

Drain the shiitakes and slice some of them up. I like to leave some of them whole. Add to the pan and mix everything together, cooking for 3 minutes. Make up 500ml mushroom stock and set aside.

Add the miso to the pan and ensure everything is coated then add the stock. Mix together and bring to the boil very briefly. Set at a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. In the meantime bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the soba noodles for 7 minutes. 

Halve the pak choi's and lay on top of the broth. Put the lid on and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are wilted but will still hold some crunch at the core.

Drain the soba noodles and share between 2 bowls. Throw a splash of soya sauce onto the noodles. Using a ladle to top them with the pak choi then pour over the broth. 


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Roasted Harlequin Squash with Miso, Shiitake & Chilli Lentils

Despite the warm September weather I've started to feel brilliantly Autumnal! Heading into October it's lovely to see the leaves starting to change colour... such beautiful oranges and reds, I feel totally spoilt by nature. Autumn is all about starting to cosy-up, layer-up and put some good old comfort food on the menu. I think this one is really my definition of comfort food. Warm, filling, full of flavour and seriously satisfying. As I write this it's raining hard outside and a bowl of this would be amazing!

I'm a little bit obsessed with Miso right now, trying to sneak it into all sorts of dishes. And it seems to work, with everything!! A deliciously deep, umami flavour that adds another dimension to dishes. Being soy-based it has a great natural saltiness so you won't need to add any salt. And fermented foods are so great for you - the fermentation process creates beneficial enzymes that preserve nutrients and breaks them down into a form that's easier to digest. The crispy sage was also a total revelation. For some reason I've never really given sage a chance but now I want to eat it crispy with EVERYTHING! 

For my Roasted Harlequin Squash with Miso, Shiitake & Chilli Lentils to serve 2, you'll need:

½ Harlequin Squash
1 Garlic Clove
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Red Onion
1 Cayenne Chilli Pepper (or medium-hot chilli of your choice)
100g Green Lentils
5-6 Shiitake Mushrooms
1 tbsp Organic Brown Rice Miso - I use Clearspring
70 ml water
Black Pepper
6 Sage Leaves

The picture's not great, what with the lack of evening light, but trust me this dish was delicious - my best friend was bowled over by the flavour, and she usually hates mushrooms!

Firstly set your oven to 210°c. Peel the Harlequin Squash & cut into wedges. You can use another type of squash here but the Harlequin has a lovely, gentle flavour if you can get one. Throw into a bowl with 1½ tbsp olive oil. Crush the garlic and add to the bowl with a few grinds of coarse black pepper. Shake the bowl well until all the wedges are coated. Lay a sheet of baking paper out onto a baking tray and lay out the wedges. Drizzle over all the oil and garlic left in the bowl. Put into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. They should sizzle and brown nicely!

Now cook the green lentils in a pan of boiling water, as per the instructions on the packet - about 25 minutes. I like mine to be just-cooked so that they do not go stodgy. 

Meanwhile finely dice the red onion, slice the cayenne chilli and finely chop the shiitakes. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onions on a medium heat for around 8 minutes. Then add the chilli and shiitakes and cook for a further 10 minutes. If your squash is now cooked then remove from the oven and cover until needed. 

Drain the lentils and add to the frying pan with the miso. Mix together thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps of miso present, and add the water. Turn up the heat and let this sizzle for a minute, continuing to mix. Remove from the heat. 

In a little frying pan heat the remaining olive oil to high. Plate up the lentils and top with the squash wedges. To crispy-fry the sage add to the pan and within a few seconds the leaf will crisp up. Remove quickly with tongs before they turn brown and add to the dish.

Serve and enjoy!