Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kedgeree

Kedgeree is one of my favourite rice dishes. I believe it has it's origins in the British Raj in India. I know it came to fashion in Britain during the 19th Century, probably as a result of returning ex-patriates wanting to duplicate the best of British India here at home.

My version uses smoked haddock, but any good smoked fish works well, even smoked oily fish like mackarel.


Ingredients:

400-420g fillet of undyed smoked haddock
Cup of milk
Cup of water
4 eggs
1 bayleaf
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 banana shallots or one small onion, chopped finely
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 cups basmati rice
4.5 cups of water (or the cooking liquor from the haddock topped-up with water)
A sparse pinch of saffron stamens
1 cup of frozen petits pois or garden peas

Garnish:
A slack handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
2 tablespoons of cashew pieces (optional)
2 tablespoons of crisp-fried onions (optional)

Method:

Place the smoked haddock fillet in a large saucepan with the bayleaf, milk and water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Please please don't overcook the haddock; as soon as it is capable of being flaked, take it off the heat and set aside. Allow it to cool slightly and then use a pair of forks to separate the flakes of meat from the bones and skin. Set the lean flakes aside and retain the cooking liquor.

Hard boil the eggs, peel them and chop them into quarters. Set aside.

For the rice, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the shallots or onion and stir-fry until soft and translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a minute. Add the dry rice and fry until all the rice is coated in the oil. Add the water (and/or the cooking liquor from the haddock) and stir once. Add the saffron and the peas. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and bring to a rapid boil. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID; the rice will cook in the steam, so removing the lid will ruin this dish. Once a rapid boil has been achieved, turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible for 3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID for 10 minutes, at which time you will have perfect rice.

To assemble the kedgeree, fork the steamed rice until it is loose and fluffy. Add the haddock flakes and eggs and stir to mix. Garnish with the parsley, spring onions, cashews and crispy onions. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!




Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Pork Sausage with Apple and Sage

I first saw this dish on one of Jamie Oliver's TV shows, and I have been using it ever since.

Apples and pork go so well together, and the addition of fresh sage and chopped onion transform this simple stir-fry into something sublime!




 Ingredients:

3 apples, cored and cut into eighths
A handful of fresh sage, chopped coarsely
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
6 good quality pork sausages, cooked and quartered
Oil for stir-frying





Method:

Heat a wok or large frying pan (skillet) until it is hot and add a small amount of oil. The oil will begin to smoke very quickly, so don't allow it to burn. Quickly add the onions and apples and stir and fry for 1 minute. Add the sage and sausage pieces and continue to stir-fry until the onion is translucent. By this time the apples will have begun to cook through. Add a quarter cup of water to the wok and cover with a lid. This will help to cook the aplles and onions and importantly it will release some of the essential oils from the sage.

Serve with pasta or rice for a delicious light lunch.



Enjoy!

Harissa - Hot chilli Pepper Paste

Harissa is one of those condiments you wish you had discovered earlier in your life; once you have tasted it, and you are a fan of hot peppers, there is no going back.

Harissa originated in the Barbary states of North West Africa, but it is often used as a table condiment and food ingredient throughout the Mediterranean. I love to add it to rice dishes as well as on grilled meats and fish.



There are many regional variations of this wonderful spice paste. Here is my own version:

Ingredients:

100g Ripe red chilli peppers
25g Chilli flakes
25g Himalayan salt
6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp carroway seeds
100ml extra virgin olive oil



Method:

Chop the ripe red chillies and the garlic then add all ingredients except the olive oil to a large mortar, and pound with a pestle until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Add the olive oil and stir to mix well.



Decant the harissa to a clean and sterilized jar and seal. The flavour improves after a few days and the harissa will keep for several months, but trust me it will not last that long!

Note:

You can get good results by adding all ingredients to a food processor and blitzing it to a smooth paste, but I prefer the traditional method because it seems to bring the spice flavours out much better.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Guacamole

Guacamole is a simple and deliciously healthy Mexican dip. There are many recipes for it; some call for more tomatoes and some advocate using more avocado, I prefer the latter cos I love avocado.




Make sure you find ripe soft avocados for this, because unripe ones will ruin this otherwise delicious and healthy dip.

Ingredients:

3 soft ripe avocados, scooped and mashed.
Juice of 1 lime.
1 large ripe red tomato, finely chopped.
1 small red onion, finely chopped.
A slack handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped.
1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped.
Salt and black pepper to taste.

Method:

Assemble all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, adding salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.


Serve with crispy tortilla chips or nachos, sour cream and salsa.



This recipe is dedicated to Lauren, Lewis and Jamie.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Fresh Potatoes with Garlic Herbs and Spices

The recipe for these potatoes comes to me from Bulgaria. They can be served as a delicious side dish or as an appetiser alongside a dipping sauce of your choice.



Ingredients:

1.5 kg of fresh potatoes
10 cloves of garlic
125ml olive or vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
Sweet or hot paprika
Sprig of fresh thyme
4 tbsp pine nuts (optional)

Preparation:

For recipe "Fresh potatoes with garlic and spices" Heat the oven to 200 C.
Wash potatoes well and scraped, then dried in kitchen roll.
Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices.
In a large bowl, stir the garlic, olive oil, salt, black and red pepper.
Thyme was washed and dried, after which the leaves are removed and half of them were added to the garlic mixture.
In a bowl, pour the potatoes and mix everything well.
Potatoes are loaded into a fireproof dish.
On top, sprinkle with pine nuts.
Fresh potatoes with garlic and spices bake 40 minutes, stirring 1-2 times.
When serving, sprinkle with the remaining thyme.

Notes:

Feel free to vary the herbs and spices to make this excellent dish your own.

Thanks my lovely Stela xxx

Friday, 13 June 2014

Thai Style Chicken and Pineapple

Chicken and pineapple dishes can be found all across the tropics, from southern China to Antigua in the Caribbean. This recipe adds courgettes as an interesting flavour and texture, and ginger gives a nice spicy note to this delicious exotic dish. It is surprisingly simple to make. 




Serves 4



Ingredients:



1 medium sized free range organic chicken (or four breast fillets), deboned and cut into 1cm thick (1/2") slices.

2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced.
Thai fish sauce (see Method below).
Thai light soy sauce (see Method below).
2 medium onions, peeled and simply quartered.
2 small courgettes, rougly chopped.
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into generous chunks.
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped.
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large pieces.
The green tops of a bunch of spring onions cut to about thumb length.
2-3 bird eye chilli peppers, finely chopped (hot!).
1 level tablespoon of palm sugar or soft brown sugar
Oil for stir-frying.
3-4 teaspoons of cornflour (cornstarch).
2 cups of chicken stock.
Finely chopped spring onions and fresh coriander leaves for garnish.


Method:



Marinate the chicken in the garlic and a splash each of fish sauce and light soy sauce. Set aside while you prepare the fruit and vegetables.



Assemble all the fruit and vegetables in a bowl and toss to mix well. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and stir-fry the mixture at high temperature until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the sugar, 1 cup of chicken stock and a generous splash each of fish sauce and soy sauce then stir to mix. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Mix half the cornflour with some water and use this to thicken the mixture. When the mixture starts to bubble again, pour it into a large derving dish, making room for the chicken. Set aside and keep warm.



Add the remaining cornflour to the meat and stir to mix and coat the chicken pieces. Clean the wok then add another 2 tablespoons of oil, then heat until very hot before adding the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken begins to brown, then add 1 cup of chicken stock and a generous splash each of fish sauce and soy sauce then stir to mix. The dry cornflour protects the texture of the meat and later helps to form a nice sauce. Once the chicken is ready, pour over the pineapple and vegetable sauce, mix and garnish with finely chopped spring onions and fresh coriander leaves.



Serving:



Serve on a bed of plain steamed rice.



Enjoy!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Cheese & Onion Flapjacks

These delicious savoury flapjacks are simple to make and perfect for packed lunches, parties and picnics.





Ingredients:
1 small onion, chopped.
60g (2 oz) butter.
170g (6 oz) mature cheddar cheese.
145g (5 oz) porridge oats.
1 egg-beaten (optional).
Quarter teaspoon dried mustard.
One finely chopped spring onion (scallion).
Salt & pepper.

Method:
Fry onion gently in butter until soft. Add all other ingredients and mix well, Smooth ingredients into greased 8 inch circular baking tin. Bake at 180°C (360°F) for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve warm or cold.








Monday, 21 April 2014

Nuff Said

How to rate the freshness of eggs:

My girlfriend just sent this to me, so I thought I'd share it with you all! Egg 'float test' to determine how fresh or
old your eggs are! .... - Yvette

That's you told.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Easy Bean Curry

I was given a link to this cleverly simple bean curry by my friend who is a British Indian restaurant style enthusiast.


Enjoy!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Aloo Paratha

Stuffed parathas are very popular in Northern India and have gained much popularity in British Indian restaurants. This instruction video from VahChef explains the process of making aloo paratha, one of my favourites:


Monday, 10 February 2014

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Radiator Spuds - Potatoes to Die For

(425F = 220C or gas mark 7, Aga hot oven)


Serving suggestions:

Add garlic butter three minutes before serving.

Top with sour cream and chives.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Flour-Free Banana Pancakes

This came to me via a post on social media, it is self-explanatory:





Sunday, 5 January 2014

Making Virgin Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

Making coconut oil is a laborious process, but anyone who has made it will agree with me that the results are well worth the effort.

I'm going to take you to the Bare Pantry Show for this demo:

Part 1:

 

Part 2:



This is a healthy oil that is for cookery and topical use.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Savoury Green Monster Detox Smoothie



Blitz the following with pure distilled water to make a delicious, detoxing savoury smoothie:

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cucumber
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/2 tsp spirulina
1 tsp wheat grass
1 tsp barley grass
1 tbsp hulled hempseed
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
Dash of hot pepper sauce (optional)




Caveats:

This drink gives you a huge boost of energy, so it is best not to indulge before bedtime, unless you don't plan to do much sleeping.

Detoxing can cause flu-like symptoms as your body rids itself of toxins.