Pumpkin Ravioli with Frangelico Liqueur Sauce and Pine Nuts

Ingredients – Serves 3

  • 2 dozens Ravioli (we used pumpkin Ravioli but you can choose your own flavour)
  • 5 button Mushrooms
  • 225g oyster Mushrooms
  • 50g Pine nuts
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 3 Shallots
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 200ml Frangelico
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sunflower oil

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Method

  1. Turn the grill on.
  2. Prepare a pot of water, add some oil and salt to it and bring it to the boil.
  3. Start heating up a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add some oil.
  4. Start peeling and slicing shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Add all to the frying pan and give a gentle stir. Leave until are softened.
  5. Add ravioli to the boiling water. Read package instructions for cooking time but you should know they are ready when ravioli rise to the surface of the water.
  6. Add Frangelico to the mushroom pan and let it reduce by 3/4. Once reduced add the cream. Give a gentle stir.

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  7. Place the pine nuts on a shallow baking tin and place under grill for a few minutes.
  8. Drain ravioli and leave on the side until sauce and pine nuts are ready.
  9. Season the sauce with some salt and pepper and you can now start plating.
  10. Garnish with pine nuts.IMG_2821

 

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The feeling of cooking

A quick throw back to 2012 in Moniaive, Scotland. The days when Jas ran a restaurant and I ran the house kitchen 😉 This photo brings back so many good memories and it goes without saying that yes, I do love cooking!

Jas asks this amazing question to himself: What’s nice about being in the kitchen?

It’s hot, washing dishes (yes we still wash our dishes, no dishwasher intended to make an appearance in our kitchen), getting burnt, maybe cutting your fingers and the list goes on and on…

Ok so forget all about that and let’s focus on the beauty and satisfaction that it brings. It brings a sense of relaxation, family unity, learning and excitement in trying new things. For us, all of these overcome the hard bits and make us keep wanting to produce more.

It is not the easiest task in the world when time is restricted but we do give home cooking a priority. We love to plan in advance, turn some music on, sometimes a good glass of wine and start preparing dinner for everybody to enjoy. This can be the simplest dish on earth, still one can enjoy the making of it and bring a happy feeling to the table.

From another point of view, the fair truth is that cooking can become a boring routine that we HAVE to do every day. I see it happening out there, at times it becomes so dull that one just turns away and either head straight to the nearest take away or simply skip meals. Not justifiable at all!

We wish to encourage taking control of our eating habits and routines. When we’re in control and choose that what we feed ourselves becomes a priority, then this makes it so much easier to know what to cook on an everyday basis. The dull feeling disappears and is replaced by eagerness to eat what my adventurous little hands have prepared for me. Yum!

Rob

Brazilian Fresh Salad

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 75g Cucumber
  • 6 Spring Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow Pepper
  • 2 Celery Sticks
  • 4 Radishes
  • 75g Lettuce (we used Romaine)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Mint

 

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 150ml natural Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper thumbnail_img_2172

Method

  1. Start by roughly tearing the lettuce into chunky pieces with your hands. Watch video at 00:20 to see how. Place it in a large mixing bowl and fill with cold water to wash thoroughly. Leave it on the side for now.
  2. Peel the outer leaf of the spring onions, take the ends and heads off and slice them. Place them in a large plastic container on the side.
  3. Wash the tomatoes, remove its eye, quarter them, deseed and slice. Watch the video at 4:08 to see an easy way how to deseed tomatoes. Add to the spring onion container.
  4. Wash the peppers, slice a portion of each pepper and remove its fat and slice. Watch the video at 6:04 to see how to remove the fat. Add them to the plastic container.
  5. Half the celery cut them into strips and give them a wash. Add to container.
  6. Remove the end of the cucumber, half it, quarter it and cut into strips. Add to container.
  7. Wash thoroughly the radishes, chop off the end pits and quarter them. Add to container.
  8. Wash the mint and give it a quick rough chop. Leave on chopping board for now.
  9. You can drain the lettuce now and leave it in the colander so it can drain properly.
  10. In the meantime we can start preparing the dressing.

Dressing – Prepare a small bowl and add yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic very finely chopped. Give it a whisk and dressing is done.

11. Put the drained lettuce into a large serving bowl and add some dressing. Give it a mix with your hands and plate. Add more dressing to it and the rest of the ingredients on top. Add more dressing and sprinkle the salad with chopped mint.

Tip: Do not dress the salad until just before serving, otherwise it will turn soggy.

Happiness is homemade

I saw this clock at a local coffee shop and it immediately struck my eyes, of course whatever’s homemade does!

Then I go without hesitation and say that home is where the heart is.

One of the things that really makes our tiny flat a home is the actual gathering around the table and eat a good home-cooked plate of food. For this reason we spend a lot of time in the kitchen and this was inherited from our families. Whether it was for a cuppa, a sandwich, lunch or dinner; everyone ended up in the kitchen. We love it and still do it with our own family.

So how can we make our kitchen as hospitable as we can?

Jas remembers at around 3-4pm, just after his dad returns from work and siblings return from school, mum would make tea and bake cakes like apple pies or the maltese traditional qaghaq ta l-ghasel (honey rings) and he recalls these moments as special ones. Everybody brings his own day to the table, chatting about what happened and what’s next, it’s amazing! His family still carries on the tradition and Jas misses this dearly.

Now having a family of our own it is great to share that simple little cuppa together, at least we try our best to find that time, because we know that our children will come one day, open the fridge and ask for that beautiful tea and get ready for a catch up.

We truly believe that the more hands on we are in the kitchen, the more we can learn and create beautiful family moments together.

How do you make family time worthwhile? Send us your own on our facebook page. We’d love you to share beautiful family moments with us 🙂

Rob

Toasted Brioche Buns Stuffed with Mushrooms, Shallots and Cream

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 4 Brioche Buns
  • 4 Shallots
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 200g a mix of Portobello Mushrooms and Wild Mushrooms (you can use any mushrooms of your preference)
  • 400ml Dry white Wine
  • 400ml Double Cream
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Fresh Thyme (you can include or leave out)
  • Fresh Parsleybrioche-ingredients-jpg

Method

  1. Turn the grill on.
  2. Cut the top bit of the brioche and remove the inside (watch video at 00:45)
  1. Start peeling and slicing the shallots and garlic, put them in a bowl on the side.
  2. Prepare a large frying pan and put it on a high heat, add some oil.
  3. While frying pan is heating up, start slicing the mushrooms.
  1. Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms to the frying pan and give them a gentle stir. Leave them to cook nicely for about 3 minutes.
  2. In the meantime put the brioche under the grill. Watch this carefully as it gets done really quickly, in about 30 seconds.brioche-buns-jpg-2
  3. Add the thyme and wine to the mushroom mixture and let it reduce by 3 quarters.
  4. Roughly chop the parsley. Once the wine is reduced, add the cream and parsley to the pan. Give it a gentle stir and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

 

How do we know which is the best recipe?

With all these recipes that we come across every time we type in what we’re looking for, I doubt it if we really know which one is the best one. I guess it makes a difference and depends on the mood we’re in, the time we have on our hands and the state of our appetite.

Bad news is that unfortunately not all recipes work, boooo!

I know! :/

Even worse is that they can leave us disappointed and demotivated if the dish doesn’t turn out right, believing that it was our fault or we’re not capable enough to cook!!

Recently we came across a chicken recipe online where it said that chicken needs  to be roasted for 2 1/2 hours. We naturally think that if you follow this kind of recipe, you won’t be able to find the chicken in the oven after that amount of cooking time!!

This is what brought this blog to come alive. Be really careful which recipes to go for. Look out for reviews at least so there’s proof it does work.

Also, seems like the recipe trend nowadays are these fast-forwarded, short clips which seem to be an excellent way to attract the eye and make us believe that that recipe is the perfect one for us. Don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against these commercial video clips but to my eyes they’re not real. They just show me massively edited parts of the whole process plus a rapid subtitled cooking time. Also, I still need to pause the clip all the time to write down ingredients and follow method, nah not for me!

So, would I really believe that these kind of recipes work?

A tried and tested recipe with real time and real home environment is what robandjas are all about. It can be really tricky to watch a whole 10-15 minute video recipe, however to my opinion; you are guaranteed a recipe that works and nothing beats authenticity if you really want to eat a good plate of food.

What do you think? How do you choose a recipe? Does it always work? Leave us comments on our facebook page, we’ll be very happy to hear your views.

Rob

Homemade Carrot Soup (with a hint of curry and thyme)

Ingredients (serves approx. 8-10 portions)

  • 6 large Carrots
  • 2 large Onions
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 2 medium Potatoes
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 1 medium Leek
  • 2 tsp Curry powder
  • 1 Bouquet Garni or 2 tsp mixed Herbs
  • 2 Vegetable Stock cubes
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Sunflower Oil
  • 1 tsp Butter

carrot-soup-ingredients-jpg

Method

  1. Prepare a medium pot and put it on a medium to high heat. Add some oil.
  2. Start peeling and roughly cut the onions and add them to the pot.
  3. Peel garlic, leave it as whole and add it to the pot.
  4. Wash thoroughly the celery sticks and leek, roughly chop them and add to the pot as well.
  5. Give all a good stir and add the thyme.
  6. Start peeling and roughly cut the carrots. Add them to the pot and give another stir.
  1. Turn the heat up and leave vegetables to sweat until they soften a little bit.
  2. Peel and wash the potatoes, roughly chop and add to the pot – this is great to thicken the soup.
  3. Add the curry and give all a good stir. Add butter.
  4. When vegetables have softened, add cold water just until all vegetables are covered.
  1. Add the bouquet garni, vegetable stock cubes and bay leaves. Put the lid on, lower the heat and let it simmer gently for 30 mins. After 30 mins you should have all vegetables thoroughly cooked combined with all the flavours. Check this by inserting a fork into the potatoes or carrots (as they are the ones to take more time to cook)
  2. Take out the bay leaves, bouquet garni and thyme springs. You can now blend the soup to your preferred consistency.