Friday, 28 October 2011
Monday, 4 July 2011
This is the 'Apple and Walnut Cake' from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Except after making all sort of substitutions I had really made Anna del Conte's Torta di mele. But what's for certain is that the cake is absolutely delicious! Doesnt really come across in the picture, but trust me, it was lovely. This is an excellent way of using up apples past their best.
The way I made it:
100 g raisins boiled in 75 ml water until water has evaporated (drain though in any case!)
150 ml vegetable oil
200 g caster sugar
350 g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
450 g apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
Zest of 1 lemon
20 cm springform cake tin, buttered and floured.
Preheat oven to 180'C/Gas 4.
Beat oil and sugar together with an electric mixer, then add the eggs one by one. Fold in dry ingredients with a metal spoon, then stir in apples, lemon zest and raisins. This will be quite a stiff batter. Spoon into prepared tin and smooth the top and bake for 1 hour. Do check towards the end. Let the cake stand in the tin for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Lovely eaten that day, but even nicer the next!
This spinach risotto is yet another recipe from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian and yet again it was yummy!
Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and lemon.
Saturday, 11 June 2011
I made this ice cream before the start of Junk Free June. Although.. JFJ hasnt gone too well! Unexpectantly quickly we managed to sell our house and we've been going to viewings, cleaning and de-cluttering. The same day as we accepted the winning bid on the house we also had two viewings later on in the evening and we were so tired afterwards that take-out was the natural choice. So there went junk free june. We also celebrated the sale with a few squares of chocolate. Also, have been baking! Ah... well. But generally, junk free!
This time I added powdered vanilla and two ripe honey mangoes. Lovely!
Friday, 27 May 2011
I thought I might as well try something else with asparagus. It was very nice, but I do pefer them either steamed and dressed with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper..perhaps a bit of parmesan, or in a risotto. Cooked it a bit long here as you can see. No harm done though.
Carrot Cake - Dan Lepard:
We are entering June soon and I am planning a 'Junk Free June' after it was suggested on the food forum http://www.throughtheovendoor.com/. I don't really eat much junk to be honest, except for the odd chocolate on a weekend. It has been agreed that if one must eat chocolate it should be fairtrade or organic in June and that's totally fine by me. I have also chosen to limit the intake of a few things to make it a 'Junk Free June'. I might not be able to shut these out completely, but I will try. That is no sugar (so no baking in June!), no cream or sour cream..and the likes, no full fat milk in cooking (dont drink it anyways), no bread with less than 50% wholemeal and no white pasta. Since I'm in charge of cooking and bread baking it shouldnt be too hard.
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Potato wedges were also inspired by Nigella Feast and seasoned with salt, paprika and chilli pepper flakes. 1 hour at 210'C/Gas 7. (I also left them on a lower shelf while the mushrooms were cooking).
I stuffed field mushrooms with a mixture of pesto, tomatoes (seeds removed), garlic, onion, salt and pepper, then topped with cheddar. They were baked in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200'C/Gas 6.
Monday, 16 May 2011
Nigella's Italian Tomato and Pasta soup:
Ever since I spotted British tomatoes in the shops I've been itching to make tomato soup. I usually make Linda McCartney's recipe, but this time I decided to give Nigella a go, and it is from Nigella Kitchen. It is the very last recipe in the book.
OK... this turned out to be a slightly odd meal! I made a Mediterranean Pepper Salad, from Nadia Sawalha's Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life. I thought it was really nice, but the rest of the family thought the dinner was rather poor. I also made some pasta dressed in lemon infused olive oil, but it was rather boring, I should have just mixed the pasta into the salad. We live and learn. The flatbreads are from River Cottage Bread Book, and not unlike naan, only naan is tastier in my opinion. I also made use of them the next morning for breakfast by sandwiching two together with grated cheese, English mustard, parsley and tomatoes and then frying them on the griddle pan. Very pleasant.
Now finally for the sweet finale! This is also from Nigella Kitchen and is called 'No-fuss fruit tart', and it definitely lived up to that. No-fuss it was. Basically, all I had to do was to blitz 375 g digestive biscuits with 75 g unsalted butter in the food processor. Press these crumbs into a 25cm tart tin and put it in the fridge while you mix the filling. In a clean processer bowl, mix 400 g cream cheese with 240 g lemon curd, take your tart tin out of the fridge and fill with the cream and curd mixture. Then decorate with berries of your choice. (actually, she lists 125 g each of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants or pomegranate seeds and strawberries.. but I sort of just did my own thing). I let it stand overnight in the fridge. It didnt set completely and was still a little runny, but it was very tasty. Very cheesecaky flavour.
Definitely worth making.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Butter: A thick slice, about 50 g.
One small onion, finely chopped.
Arborio rice: 200 g
A glass of white wine or Noilly Prat (I used schloer, a sparkling grape juice)
Aspargus: 400 g (I used 320 g), chopped.
Hot chicken stock: 1 litre (you could use vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian risotto)
Lemons: 2 (I used juice of 1/2 and zest of 1)
Grated Parmesan: 3 tbsp
I used a mixture of olive oil and butter for frying the onion. Had half a red onion lying about so I used that. I also added a finely chopped stick of celery for more flavour. Then add the rice and let it get coated by the butter, and then your schloer. Then pour in a ladleful of stock and let it cook, when it is evaporated add chopped aspargus and more stock. Then proceed with adding stock, lemon zest and juice until rice is cooked. This will take approx. 20 minutes. When you are satisfied , add parmesan (and a nut of butter if you wish) and check seasoning. The recipe serves 2, according to Nigel Slater, but it fed 2 adults and 2 kids last night :)
Pasta with sweet tomato sauce
I had some lovely sweet British tomatoes that I wanted to use. Of course, they are quite excellent uncooked in salads or just for munching.. but I fancied a tomatoes-in-season-pasta-sauce. This is what I did:
Greek lamb chops with lemon and potatoes
Southern potato curry
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
This is a paneer and pepper curry from Anjum Anand's 'I love curry'. I loved it, Miss 1 ate it though found it spicy, Master 10 ate it reluctantly (1: Where's the meat and 2: I already had curry at school) and hubby liked it (though..how come you didn't make palak paneer??). I served it with naan and a salad.
For lunch today Miss 1 and myself had the Corsican Omelette from Nigella Lawson's 'Forever Summer'. I am generally not too keen on omelettes.. they are so...eggy! But this one was lovely, with mint and feta cheese (should have been chevre, but didnt have any). Served with rocket, tomatoes and avocado with a drizzle of lemon oil and sea salt.
Friday, 15 April 2011
1 fresh red chilli (de-seeded if you don't like it too hot), very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 scant teaspoon Dijon mustard (yes French, not Indian, I know lol)
Zest and Juice of half a small unwaxed lemon
Small handful each of chopped fresh mint and coriander (or parsley if you like)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Mix this dressing up in a bowl, then get on with the other ingredients:
1/2 small red onion, chopped very finely
About 10 sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
10 cm piece of cucumber, cut into thin ribbons
1x400 g tin of blackeye beans, rinsed
Add this to the dressing and mix well, then leave for 15 - 20 minutes if you can. Check seasoning again before serving. I ate this with a very non-Indian slice of crusty bread which I thought worked well.
Monday, 11 April 2011
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
I love a traditional Channe Chaat (chickpea salad), but this particular day I did not have any chickpeas nor any tomatoes, so I had to improvise. If you have tomatoes, do add it because it really tastes nicey-nice.
1 400g can tinned blackeye beans
3 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 tsp (or to taste) Chaat Masala (should be fairly easy to obtain)
Chilli powder (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Juice of 1 small lemon
A handful of fresh coriander , chopped (optional)
Mix all the ingredients and and season to taste. I love eating this as a simple lunch. It is very easy to prepare, you just have to wait for the potatoes to cook, which can be hard if you are starving. This serves two adults. It can be kept in the fridge to the next day if you are eating alone (cover with clingfilm or else the smell will poison the rest of your fridge!).
Lebanese Pasta Bake with chicken and mushroom w. vegetarian option
We had some leftover roast chicken (as one has) and I wondered (as one does) what to do with it this time. Then I remembered a dish suggested by one of our Lebanese members @ www.throughtheovendoor.com and I decided to make it.
Basically, you make a roux and then add chickenstock and milk powder to make the sauce. Fry some mushrooms and add whichever spice you fancy (I really like thyme and parsley with mushrooms) and then season. Boil some pasta, tagliatelle is good, although this time I had farfalle. When it is al dente, drain and mix with the sauce along with fried mushrooms and shredded cooked chicken. Top with a generous grating of parmesan and bake at 200'C/Gas 6 for 30 minutes. I haven't specified quantities, but it all depends on how much leftover chicken you've got and how many you are cooking for.
I would quite like this as a vegetarian dish too, which I am intending to try. I am thinking.. obviously swap chicken stock for vegetable stock, perhaps griddle or grill some vegetables, such as courgettes, aubergine and peppers (You might have had roast vegetables earlier that you need to use up?) and add a generous amount of mushrooms, and parmesan-style cheese. If you belong to the meat-substitute-quorn-eating group, then you could always try it with chicken-style quorn pieces. Although I think it would taste fab with vegetables.
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
I love pilaou and recently I made channe pilaou (chickpea pilaou) from black chickpeas. It's only I and little Miss 1 who are keen on this because Master 10 does not care for rice that has been fiddled with (plain boiled thank you) and hubby doesn't jump for joy because 1) there is no meat and 2) meat has been replaced with chickpeas (or beans/veg/etc). But I adore this and can eat a large plateful with salad and mint chutney (fresh mint, fresh coriander, greeen chillies, onion, more salt than you think - mix it in a blender/processor and mix a small amount with natural yoghurt. The rest can be frozen and you can break a piece off whenever you need it and dissolve in yoghurt).
225g basmati rice (ideally soaked for 30 minutes prior to cooking)
1 tin chickpeas (any kind)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into half moons
4 -5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cm piece of ginger, finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
5 black peppercorns
5 green cardamoms, bruised
1 black cardamom
1 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
Stock powder (such as Marigold) to taste, or salt if you dont wish to use stock powder)
1) Fry onion in oil until it starts to brown
2) Add garlic and ginger and fry for about 30 seconds, making sure the garlic does not burn. Now add the whole spices and fry for a minute.
3) Rinse the tinned chickpeas in water and add them to the pan along with 100 ml water and the Maldon salt and cook until water has evaporated.
4) Now add the drained basmati rice and pour over water so it just covers the rice and chickpeas. Bring it to the boil and turn it down to a simmer and cook for 10- 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it though, you dont want it to stick to the bottom of the pan.
5) When the water has evaporated, turn the heat off and let it cook in it's own steam for 5 -10 minute with the lid on. This will make the rice nice and fluffy.
6) Check seasoning and serve with salad and chutney.
Leftover chicken suggestion:
Sunday, 6 March 2011
At the moment I have Rhyley's Granny's honeyed porridge bread in the oven and it smells delicious. Here is the link to her recipe: http://teandwheatenbread.blogspot.com/2011/02/honeyed-porridge-bread.html
I think everyone should have a go at making their own bread at least once. Trust me, you'll be hooked!
Monday, 21 February 2011
Thursday, 3 February 2011
My favourite cuisines are the Italian (when, when, when am I going to realise I am not Italian?!) and the Indian. Hmmm..and French and Middle Eastern. I do like a good cheese, and not to mention nice crusty bread (carb addiction). And obviously chocolate.
Food and Recipes coming soon...