This is an amazing Mexican marinade for making chicken tacos or even to roast a whole chicken or pieces. If you are making taco’s use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast. I have used both successfully. Cook them fast on high heat under your grill in the oven to ensure they are juicy. If you are lucky enough to barbecue these will be even more fantastic with the smokey flavors!
Serve them alongside my better than guac avocado dip and my simple lazy salsa. You will have everyone asking you to make them over and over, they are just so good!
Lip smackingly tangy and delicious marinade for chicken taco's using achiote paste or paprika if you don't have it. Use for grilled or roasted chicken if not in the mood for taco's!
Course Main Course
Diet Low Fat
Prep Time 2hrs
Cook Time 25mins
1 kgChicken breast or skinless boneless thighs
2tbsp achiote paste, ground anatto seed or paprika
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tspground turmeric
2tbspmild mexican chilli powder
1/2tsphot chili powder
2 tbspkosher salt
2 tbsp oregano
2tspagave nectar or honey
2/3 cupcider vinegar
1/4cupfreshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbspcoriander fresh
Place chicken in a ziplock bag or large glass dish for marinading.
Mix all the other marinade ingredients.
Pour Marinade over the chicken, mix and place in refrigerator for two hours or overnight.
1/2 hour before cooking remove chicken from fridge and leave out to come to room temperature.
Turn your grill on high and place rack 4-5 inches from grill.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and place chicken on sheet. Brush with some vegetable oil. Place under the grill and roast for 10-12 mins, then turn and brush with oil and cook under grill for another 10-12 minutes till you see some nice char marks and juices run clear when poked with a knife. Remove chicken from baking sheet. Place chicken on a board and cut into small pieces with a knife.
Serve the chicken with warmed tortillas and slices or avocado, salsa and lime wedges.
These taco’s will be great served alongside my better than guac avocado dip and simple salsa. You can just used sliced avocado’s if you wish to save time. Sprinkle on some cilantro and lime and you are good to go!You can serve them as burritos if you only have larger tortillas as I had on the day!
So this came about a few years ago in New York. I had some avocados that needed using up, I was going to make guac but saw I had no tomatoes! As I was borderline bored of guac anyway I decided to go make something with what I had at home and it was so good, that I have never made regular guac ever again since!
Serve with corn chips or as an accompaniment to taco’s.
Butter Chicken is probably non vegetarian India’s favourite dish… so yummy is its tomato creamy, not so spicy gravy, that you can even forget the chicken and happily just eat naan and the sauce. I remember so looking forward to eating this dish as a kid who lived in New Delhi, it was my favourite…. still the thing I love most when I haven’t had Indian food in a while. I can literally remember images of it from dhabas and restaurants of my childhood and still smell it! Happy memories!
Normally making this dish is a long process, first you marinade the chicken with a tandoori chicken marinade, then you grill it and then make the sauce separately and add your grilled chicken to the sauce to finish. My version skips a lot of steps but will give you the real flavor without all the work. I basically marinade the chicken and then use a heavy cast iron dish to soften some onions and then add my marinaded chicken. Get the chicken going and cook for around 10 minutes and then add a tin of chopped or pureed tomatoes. Cook for another 7 minutes and then place this in your preheated oven to cook for an hour. Pretty simples… now just taste, and adjust the seasonings and flavors a little, and you are good to go! You can put it under the grill for the last few minutes to get a few charred marks on the chicken, reminiscent of the real tandoori grilled chicken.
Seriously if you cook this for anyone, I guarantee you they will be seriously impressed. Just marinade the chicken well in advance, I even leave in the fridge for two days to marinade and the flavors really get in there beautifully. You can even do the cooking part the day before you serve it and the butter chicken will only get tastier sitting in its sauce for a day! This type of Indian food infect tastes better the next day… so very good thing to do for a dinner when don’t want to do much cooking on the day.
frying onions till soft and just going gold
add marinated chicken
add tomato puree
cook for a few minutes and add cream (though I forgot to add cream and baked it for half an hour first, then when I remembered I added cream and baked another half an hour)
add cream and bake in oven
1 kg boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets cut into largish pieces
1 Black cardamom (cracked and seeds separated)
5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup almond powder
2/3 cup thick plain yoghurt
Juice of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2.5 Tbsp paprika powder (this if for color not heat)
1-3 green chillies (depending on how hot you like it)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon garam masala
6 green cardamon pods ( smashed so seeds are free)
salt and pepper to taste
5 Tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced or chopped
400 grams tin of chopped/pureed tomatoes
4 Tablespoons thick double/heavy cream
Tablespoon of honey
1/4 to1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
1.5 tsp dried fenugreek (optional)
Blend the ginger, garlic, green chillies, lemon juice in a small food processor and add to the yoghurt and almond powder in a big non metallic bowl. Add the chicken and let marinade overnight or even 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F. Heat your heavy bottomed oven proof pan (I like using a Le Cruset wide shallow pot), add the ghee. Now add the onions and cook thill they are soft and start barely to go brown on the edges. Add the chicken mixture and fry for 5 minutes. Now add the tin of tomatoes. and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cream and honey and mix. Place dish in the oven and bake for an hour. If the top is browning too quickly during cooking, cover with some foil.
When the hour is up, carefully take out the hot dish, mix and taste the sauce. Add more honey/salt/pepper/garam masala or a little cardamom powder and fenugreek if using (still tastes great if you don’t have dried fenugreek), taste and when it is perfect you can stick it under the hot grill for about 2 minutes if you wish to brown the top. Before serving tip the dish to the side and spoon off any extra oil. Serve with Zeera/Cumin Rice or Naans.
Here is another gorgeous dip I discovered in my quest to find some amazing new ones and give the hummus a break for a bit. Very simple, ready in five minutes… this goes really well with the Houriyan dip I posted about earlier…so good together!
80 g (3 oz) feta cheese
300 g greek yoghurt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together and keep the feta a bit lumpy, you don’t want it too smoothly mashed into the yoghurt. Enjoy with some good pita.
Yes, strange name, but its meant to reflect the way the little bits of mince pork coat the shiny lustrous bean thread noodles… if you like Chinese food you can’t miss this dish. It’s certainly got a spot on my fave noodles list.
This is a super delicious and relatively quick and easy recipe. You just soak the noodles in hot water, marinate the pork mince for ten minutes, while you chop some spring onions, ginger and garlic, mix up the sauces and are ready to toss it all into your wok and start cooking. A very quick meal in minutes which is so tasty and satisfying, also very authentic and you won’t find it in Chinese restaurants. If you have you basic Chinese pantry ingredients you will have the meal ready to devour in a big bowl in front of a good movie in 20 minutes.
Soak noodles in hot water
Marinade meat, chop veg, mix sauce ingredients
mung bean noodles
I love the ready chopped ginger and garlic in the freezer section of supermarkets here in France, it makes life extremely easy! Picard, the French frozen food supermarket which I am a little obsessed with since I moved here even stock giant bags of ready chopped garlic which are very handy if you cook a lot like me. They even do frozen chopped french shallots/ red and yellow onions and all the fresh herbs you could need in these mini cardboard boxes with pour out lids… absolutely brilliant and time saving. Because they are freeze dried they retain all the flavor and make cooking a breeze.
I usually double the pork and add a bit more noodles so I have left overs for the next day.
(for marinading meat)
125 g or 4.5 oz minced ground pork or beef
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil
125 g bean thread noodles
1 tbsp oil (flavorless)
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 garlic clove chopped
1 teaspoon to ban jiang chili bean paste
2 spring onions finely chopped (for garnish)
Sauce: (mix together all ingredients in a bowl)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1.2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
Soak mung bean noodles in hot water. Mix the minced meat with marinade ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes). Chop all vegetable and keep ready.
Heat the wok over high heat, add oil till very hot. Stir-fry the minced meat mashing and separating it, till it changes colour and starts to brown. Push the meat to the side of the wok, add the spring onion, ginger, garlic and chili paste and stir fry for 5 seconds, or till fragrant. Return meat to centre of pan.
Add the sauce to your meat mixture and toss lightly. Add the noodles and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with remaining spring onions to garnish and tuck in!
If you need some interesting new dips to serve with your pita, you are in the right place… I was bored of hummus and tatziki amongst others when I came across this recipe for a Tunisian carrot dip. Now I have had some carrot dips in Lebanese/Middle-eastern restaurants as part of mezze and never really was bowled over by any of them. Enter Houriya courtesy of Diana Henry’s recipe… and I am finding myself spreading it even on toast for breakfast, running to the kitchen to putting a smidge on a bit of baguette as a snack…obsessed. Just taste it and see… the lime and the honey really work well with the harissa and make this sing. Not sure why hummus is king, this could totally take over!
It is superb with some Iranian bread called Naan e Barbari (delicious, and everyone must try), which I had to go all the way to Iranian store called Eskan in the 15th arrondissement of Paris to find. You can also get your Tahini and pomegranate molasses amongst other Persian and middle eastern goodies here.
Simple and easy to make and delivers loads of flavor. Diana Henry said every recipe in this book had to be magical and having only tried this dip first, I can say it totally is magical. Turning the humble carrot into something so fantastic is pretty rare. I have adapted it to my taste a little. If you have a bag of carrots sitting in your fridge you need to finish do yourself a favor and make this!
300g (10.5 oz) carrots cut into chunks and cooked till tender
1.5 tsp ground cumin
2-3 tsp harissa (I like Belazu rose harissa)
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp honey
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of a lime
1 green chili cut into a few pieces
Add cooked carrots and all other ingredients to food processor and blend. Taste and adjust seasoning according to taste, add more salt/pepper/honey/vinegar. Serve at room temperature drizzled with some olive oil. Drizzle some harissa on top too if you like.
I cannot explain to you how much I love Thai food. I could seriously just go to Thailand and eat my way through and do nothing else, so deep is my love for their hot and spicy cuisine (well maybe I’d fit a few of their amazing massages in).
A real proper Tom Yum Soup on the streets of Bangkok is just truly sublime… so much chill, so much lime, so much full on flavor, just hits you in your face and bam you can’t go back to the half hearted attempts that are served in the restaurants to cater to the western tastes. Even Bangkok airport has Thai restaurant that serves this and on my trips to and from Sydney to London I would always stop and have a big bowlful there, the conciliation prize for not actually going into Bangkok, made me this long flight was actually worth it to stop here just for this.
Anyway, here is a really tasty treat for those of you who like really good Thai food. I have not put as much chili in this as I used to, it was a little crazy how much chili I used to eat, somehow I have become calmer now and don’t think I can handle the same level of 15 bird eye chillies in a bowl of soup that I used to be able to… I used to try and make it the same way I saw the street stall people making it with enormous amounts of lemon juice too, and funnily enough nobody else but me could eat it at home. I blame it on being married to my English husband…or maybe just time has mellowed me out. Now a respectable 4-6 chili’s is all I can manage to put in the whole soup!
I always keep essential Thai staples in my freezer and pantry. Always have some kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Thai chillies in my freezer. If you keep good fish sauce, oyster sauce, some maesri curry pastes and coconut milk, then you can whip a nice Thai meal whenever the mood strikes. I found these super cute packets of Tom Yum Mix of all the herbs and things (perfect size for cooking for 4-6) you need ready made to store in the freezer section in Paris’s Trang Fares asian grocery stores. These can be used for Thai curries and soups. Pretty genius I thought as you just cut open a pack and add to your pot, without having to gather and prep 5 different things. Loved this latest discovery last week, anything to make life easier.
It is great to have a tin of chicken stock sold in asian food stores, if not maggi or knorr stock cubes would do to. But the flavor works better for asian soups with the asian chicken stock powder. I always have some on hand. You can use it for lots of things.
chilli jam and fish sauce
Ready to use tom yum herb mix
mung bean noodles
Hot and Sour Noodle Soup with Prawns
WUN SEN TOM YAM KUNG
150g (7 oz) mung bean noodles
350g raw prawns (peeled with tail left on, and butterflied if you like)
1 liter chicken stock/veg stock (use stock cubes mixed with water )
2 lemon grass stalks (cut and bruised)
2.5 Tblsp fish sauce
1.5 – 2.5 tbsp chilli jam (depending on how spicy you like it)
(2-4 red or green thai chillies (slightly crushed)
110 (4 oz) g mixed mushrooms
110 g (4 oz) baby tomatoes or a med tomato cut into 6
7 kaffir lime leaves
4 Tbsp lime juice
coriander/cilantro to garnish
Soak the mung bean noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes till soft, then drain them and use a pair of scissors to cut into small pieces.
Heat the stock (I just use 1 liter of water mixed with chicken stock powder you can buy at asian supermarkets in the quantity suggested on the box), Amoy brand is a good one to get. Add the lemon grass, fish sauce, chili jam and crushed chillies and bring to boiling point. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mung been noodles, then cook for 1 or two minutes. Add the prawns and cook for another minute. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, lime leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.
A lot has happened since I last blogged! I have moved from New York to Paris and been here for ten months already! The reality of living here is far different to the dream, and its been a lot of getting used to the French ways which can often be frustrating and and only later when you reflect on some of the comical situations you end up in a it can be a tad amusing with the help of passing time giving you distance from the situation. Needless to say David Leibovitz’s book on Paris and blog really stuck a cord with me and I helped me figure out some French peculiarities. Some I will never quite get I am afraid!
I recently got back from holidays in the south of France in Provence and Tuscany and had not baked in months, I found a bag of frozen pitted cherries in the freezer and had been meaning to try this cake out ever since I got Diana Henry’s great book called “a change of appetite”. This has gone to my top favorite cakes list, it is sticky and moorinsh and finger licking good. I plan to make it with many different fruits like plums, pears, apples, she actually recommends using gooseberries in the book and cherry is the variation.
It’s a pretty quick and simple recipe but I also made it simpler by sprinkling the almonds right on top of the cherries and baked for the full 30 minutes instead of how she sprinkles them on top in the last 10 minutes of baking. Some will sink in the dough and some remain on top. It is really good hot out of the oven, as we discovered (cause my other half could not wait till it cools, the smells in the house were just too good), its also great cold later with tea or coffee, and of course would be great served warm with a good vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Cream butter and brown sugar, add eggs one at a time
add flours and baking powder and fold
Pour batter into springform cake tin and spread
Top batter with defrosted frozen cherries and sugar mix
Top with flaked almonds and bake 30 mins
Savor the delightful smells from your oven and enjoy your creation…
The book is great if you like me cannot diet and are a person who lives to eat! I highly recommend this book… specially after eating a lot on your holidays and you feel you need to shed some weight! Great recipes from all around the world and you won’t feel like you are on a diet at all.
125g (41.52oz) unsalted butter, plus more for the tin
125g (41.2oz) soft light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
50g (13.4oz) wholemeal spelt flour, sifted (can use wholemeal flour if you don’t have spelt)
350g (12oz) dessert gooseberries (red or green), topped and tailed OR 350g pitted cherries (I used frozen defrosted for an hour and half)
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
30g (1oz) flaked almonds icing sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Butter a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin.
Beat the butter and soft light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.?If the mixture starts to curdle, add 1 tbsp of the spelt flour. Fold in the rest of the flours, the almonds and baking powder using a large metal spoon, then scrape into the prepared tin.
Toss the gooseberries with the golden caster sugar and spread them over the top of the cake. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds and return to the oven for 10 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin, then carefully remove the ring and base of the tin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
a cherry version… This is just as good made with cherries. Just pit 500g (1lb 2oz) of them and throw them on to the cake just before it goes into the oven. They’ll be soft in the time that it takes the cake batter to cook. This makes a lovely squidgy cake.
Living in New York there is amazing Mexican food all around to fall in love with, but I never really made serious tacos at home. That is until I suddenly got some inspiration watching one too many episodes of Taco Trip and decided to try out some home made fish taco’s yesterday, and they turned out fabulous! I think this has set me off on a Taco journey of my own, I have to do shrimp, chicken, pulled pork, beef… omg…Taco night once a week is gonna happen for sure!
The lime crema is just so out of this world, I can not even explain it! It just makes the whole taco sing! You have to taste it to believe it. It completely blew my mind on how well it worked with everything else and pulled the whole dish up to another level.
This is a pretty easy recipe and I would say you could do the same with chicken too. I used Talipia as I had it at home but feel free to use any firm white fish filets. Its also pretty helpful that every corner shop in New York sells corn and flour tortillas, and I thought I must start taking advantage of that. My sister in law Lisa certainly misses them as she can not find any corn tortillas now that she moved from LA to England! Now I can understand why she was so sad about that!
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon milk (to make the sauce more runny)
Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl and chill till needed.
1 pounds talipia fillets cut into bite size pieces (make sure they are rinsed and dried with paper towels before you cut)1
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tbsp flour
2 tablespoons oil for frying
Once the fish is cut, toss in all the spices and flour. Now heat oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the fish till brown and crispy.
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup coriander
Juice of 1-2 limes
Salt and pepper
Assembly of Taco’s
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
pea shoots or some other greens
Cheese of choice – I used the Mexican Cotija cheese crumbled on top but it was also good with the grated Mexican cheese mix you get in all supermarkets ( see last picture)
Heat a frying pan and warm the tortillas on it one by one and start stuffing your tacos with the fish, some cabbage, radish, pea shoots and a bit of cheese of your choice. Drizzle with the lime crema and spoon on some tomato salsa or some salsa verde (I used store bought), sprinkle with some cheese if you wish. Enjoy!
Easily the beset pancakes I ever made…these pancakes are so light and fluffy and taste absolutely delicious. They are my new go to pancake recipe…you can add some blue berries if you like to the batter or some lemon zest, or serve with bacon, do as you taste buds tell you too…but the basic recipe is pretty spot on and won’t let you down…
Serves 4 (5 pancakes each) or 5 ( with 4 pancakes each)
1½ cups self-raising (self-rising) flour
½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs, separated
1½ cups (375ml) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar, extra
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
maple syrup and lemon wedges, to serve
80g butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
To make the maple butter, place the butter and maple syrup in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To make the pancakes, place the flour, sugar, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl and mix to combine. Whisk the eggwhite until stiff peaks form and fold through the flour mixture with the ricotta. Heat a lightly greased large non-stick frying pan over low heat. Cook 2 tablespoons of the mixture, in batches, for 3–4 minutes each side or until puffed and golden. Combine the extra sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pancakes. Top with the maple butter, drizzle over the maple syrup and serve with lemon wedges.
Absolutely amazing Cottage Pie, the most yummy comfort food. I made it after a really long time when my daughter Samira requested some! Turned out to be the best one I ever made… must try…this is really so delicious.
3 tbsp olive oil
1¼kg beef mince
2 onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
large glass red wine (optional)
850ml beef stock
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
For the mash
1.8kg potatoes, chopped
200g strong cheddar, grated
freshly grated nutmeg
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden. Or follow the steps (below) to freeze.
This is easily my favorite spinach soup. It’s relatively healthy, so tasty, and so warming. The day I made it last week, I think my body must have been crying out for iron, because I had the hugest craving for spinach! I have to say, just cooking this feels really healthy with a pot full of greens. There is actually no cream in this, milk is used to make it creamy. I just add a spoon of cream on top to garnish, which if one is counting calories you can leave out it tastes amazing still. This soup and a nice warm roll of bread, is a great winter lunch in my book.
500g (2 bunches) english spinach or thawed packet of frozen spinach
2 tbsp butter
1 onion sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 1/2 cups chicken or veg stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp grated ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1. If using fresh spinach, wash and chop the spinach. Het butter in a large pan; add onion, cook until soft. Add spinach leaves and cook, stirring until leaves have wilted and are tender.
2. Add flour, stir over heat until vegetables are coated. Remove mixture from heat, stir in stock; return to heat. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Add milk, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Cover, simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until spinach is soft.
3. Cool soup slightly; process in batches in food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pan and heat through. Serve with croutons, if desired.
Note: For a darker soup, replace 1 bunch of spinach with a bunch of silverbeet.
Could eggs get more divine than this? The french have pretty much nailed it with this one in my book. This is one of the best ways to cook eggs and spoil all those around you, it’s a weekend favorite. Being superbly tasty and easy to make, it goes right to the top of my list for brekkie choices. You can also mix it up a bit by adding some chopped ham, mushrooms, spring onions and use herbs that you like. In this case I love chives and had them had home so used that, but they are also the traditional choice.
OEUFS EN COCOTTE/ BAKED EGGS
1 tablespoon chopped chives
4 teaspoons sour cream/crème fraîche
2 teaspoons cream
4 teaspoons gruyere cheese
or parmesan, grated
butter for greasing
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place baking tray in oven.
Bring a kettle full of water to a boil. As it comes to a boil, assemble your eggs. Grease ramekins with a little butter.
In the bottom of the two ramekins place a teaspoon of sour cream/crème fraîche and a teaspoon of cream, sprinkle some chives, and a teaspoon of grated gruyere. Crack two eggs on top of this and add another teaspoon of sour cream/crème fraîche, chives and gruyere. Crack some pepper on top (you can also place a little pea sized smidgen of butter on top, it helps to give brown specks on the top). By now your kettle should have come to a boil, so place your ramekins in a small tin, and carefully pour the water into the tin, so it comes up halfway on the outside of the ramekins.
Place the baking tin with ramekins on top of the baking tray in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs to be. When the eggs are done, take out and serve with some really good quality french bread which has been toasted and sides of your choice. I like tomatoes.
The perfect winter soup. If you want to feel wholesome and full of goodness, just stirring up this big pot of yumminess is going to do wonders to take your mind in that direction, and the body will soon follow! Add whatever vegetables you like, I added some frozen lima beans to the mix, I did not have fennel so skipped that (but imagine it would be fantastic with it). Overall, use what you have on hand, this is a flexible recipe. It does taste superb and is very warming in the freezing cold new york weather right now. It is also great to have lots of left over soup in the fridge, as I think it tastes even better the next day. I also like to give my soup a bit of kick and add a little cayenne pepper to it while cooking. Don’t forget to sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a splash of good olive oil and some pepper right in each bowl before serving.
This one is a recipe from the great Jamie Oliver and is definitely a keeper so go ahead and give it a try…
200 g cannellini or borlotti beans, fresh or dried and soaked overnight or a 400 g tin
1 bay leaf
1 tomato, squashed
1 small potato, peeled
freshly ground black pepper
4 rashers higher-welfare smoked pancetta or bacon
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
½ head fennel, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated
2×400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
1 glass red wine
2 small courgettes, quartered and sliced
200 g chard or spinach, washed and roughly sliced (including stalks)
565 ml organic chicken, ham or vegetable stock
55 g dried pasta
1 block Parmesan cheese, to serve
If using canned beans like me, skip this paragraph. Add your fresh or dried and soaked beans to a pan of water with the bay leaf, squashed tomato and potato – this will help to flavour the beans and soften their skins. Cook until tender – check by tasting. They must be soft. Dried beans can take up to an hour, but check fresh ones after 25 minutes. Drain (reserving about half a glass of the cooking water), and discard the bay leaf, tomato and potato. Now season with salt, pepper and a splash of oil.
While the beans are cooking, make your soffrito. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped pancetta or bacon, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic and the finely sliced basil stalks. Sweat very slowly on a low heat, with the lid just ajar, for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, courgettes and red wine and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Now add the swiss chard or spinach, stock and beans. Put the dried pasta into a polythene bag, squeeze all the air out and tie the end up. Bash gently with a rolling pin to break the pasta into pieces. Snip the end off the bag and empty the contents into the soup. Stir and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked.
If you think the soup is looking too thick, add a little more stock or some of the reserved cooking water to thin it down a bit. Then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the torn-up basil leaves and with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Put a block of Parmesan and a grater on the table for everyone to help themselves. Heaven!
An amazingly delicious chicken recipe, which I love so much I always make sure I have marinated extra chicken so I can have it again the next night! Oh, and did I mention my gorgeous husband can’t get enough of it either! The buttermilk marinade does wonders to make the chicken really juicy and full of flavor. The crunchy crust with the juicy chicken and the yummy flavors all come together and create a huge party in your mouth.
I use Japanese style panko breadcrumbs for this and feel they make the chicken extra crunchy, but you could use fresh breadcrumbs if you like. I love adding Mc Cormicks Applewood Rub to the breadcrumb mixture, as it gives it a nice background smoky flavor, but if you don’t have any then it will also taste great without it. I l serve this with a lush sour cream and mayo sauce flavored with dill and garlic, really a little of this dabbed on each mouthful makes the experience complete. Accompany this with a nice salad and you don’t need much more.
This recipe is based on the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book Kitchen, my version ups the amp on flavor with the addition of garlic and few key ingredients that I feel truly make it sing. Do give it a go and you shall not be sorry!
CRISPY BUTTERMILK CHICKEN CUTLETS
4 chicken breast filet (boneless/skinless)
285 ml buttermilk
3 cloves crushed garlic
fresh cracked pepper
15ml (tablespoon) Worcestershire sauce
75 gr breadcrumbs (I like using Panko for this)
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
25 g of Parmesan cheese (grated)
4 tbsp Oil for frying
4 x 15 ml (tablespoon) fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 tsp Mc Cormick’s Applewood Rub (optional)
fresh cracked pepper
How to make:
♥ Unroll a large piece of clingfilm, lay the chicken breast filet on it and cover it with another layer of clingfilm. Bash it with a rolling pin until they are thin, but still whole.
♥ Whisk the buttermilk with the, crushed garlic, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a shallow bowl (or put in a freezer bag and mix). Then add the flattened chicken to the bowl (or into the freezer bag) and leave out for at least 30 minutes preferably overnight.
♥ Mix the panko breadcrumbs, celery salt, cayenne pepper, herbs and Parmesan and applewood rub in a wide shallow dish. Then lift out the buttermilky chicken and press into the breadcrumb mixture one at time and lay them aside onto a wire rack or plate. Pat the crumbs in nicely over the chicken to make sure you get a good coating.
♥ Heat the oil and fry bigger pieces for about 3 minutes per side and smaller pieces for about 2 minutes per side.
As you remove the cooked chicken, blot them on kitchen roll.
Add fresh chopped parsley if you like.
THE MUST HAVE SAUCE
2 tbsp good mayonnaise
4 tbsp greek yoghurt or sour cream (or a 50-50 combo for even better flavor!)
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1/2 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
♥ Combine all the sauce ingredients, taste and season. Chill till you are ready to eat. Take out of fridge 15 minutes before you eat so it’s not too cold.
This is another one of those extremely quick cook recipes which are immensely big on flavor. For this yummy Thai way to eat your greens, make sure your wok is smoking hot before you begin cooking, its the secret to a good stir-fry. The wok should be very hot and the cooking quick. Also have every thing chopped and measured and ready to go before you begin cooking. It is also important to be mindful of not overcooking your snow peas, they should be a bit crunchy when you bite into them.
STIR FRIED SNOW PEAS
1 tablespoon flavourless oil
1 pack of snow peas
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 thai red chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
Heat wok till smoking hot. Add the oil. When oil smokes add chili and garlic and stir quickly. after 20 seconds add the snow peas. Stir fry for a 2-3 minutes till you get some nice charred marks and specks on them. Now add your sauces and sugar. Cook another minute or two and stir. Transfer to a dish and serve immediately.
Here is a really beautiful fast way to cook scallops. It has Thai flavors with fish sauce, oyster sauce, and basil. They are sure hit and take only a few minutes to cook! I like serving them with some crispy green veg quickly stir fried and a bit of jasmine rice.
SPICY THAI SCALLOPS
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
450 grams or 1 pound scallops, with or without roe attached
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Heat your wok till smoking, now add oil, this will also smoke pretty fast. When you see smoke from the oil throw in the garlic and red chilies and stir-fry 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the onion and stir-fry
1 minute, then tip in the scallops and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the
scallops start to turn golden at the edges and get some charring marks.
Pour in the soy sauce and fish sauce and oyster sauce and sprinkle in the sugar and black pepper. Mix
well and stir-fry 1 minute, or until the scallops are just cooked through and tender.
Throw in the basil leaves, mix well and serve immediately.
The amazing thing about this soup is there is very little cream in it! The secret…it is made with a bit of milk. The only cream is a spoonful swirled into each bowl before serving. I carefully created arty little swirls of cream which would look perfect for the picture and proceeded to walk over from the kitchen to the outdoors soup in hand. By the time I reached my destination there were no swirls left and I ended up with these psychedelic patterns of cream in my soup which look closer to modern art and thought damn my pictures are messed up now! Pretty soon my heart decided to embrace this modern cream of tomato soup look which was so “meant to be” and so I got busy clicking!
You can either use 900 grams of fresh ripe tomatoes if you can get them, but I always end up using the best quality tinned plum tomatoes I can find. They are just handy, always lying around the pantry waiting patiently for the day when you will call on them and turn them into something so exciting. No better ending could a tomato hope for! This really is very simple recipe and my favorite tomato soup, no questions asked. You will notice there is a small potato that goes into the soup too, and that is really a good trick as it gives it the most gorgeous texture, and helps the soup thicken.
I like to serve this soup with a swirl of cream, a few drops of really good peppery olive oil, a drop of balsamic vinegar and of course some freshly cracked pepper. All you need is some nice crusty warm bread and you are in for a blissful time. So here it is…the essential tomato soup recipe…
Heat a big saucepan and add butter and olive oil. Now add the chopped onions, potatoes, whole garlic cloves and cook for 5 minutes. Add your plum tomatoes, sugar, salt pepper, milk, tomato puree, stock and the basil leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or till potatoes are cooked. Let the soup cool down and then liquidize in a blender. Pour into clean saucepan, taste and adjust the seasoning and sugar if necessary.
Reheat before serving. Garnish with a swirl of cream, a few drops of peppery olive oil, a couple of drops of balsimic vinegar, some freshly cracked pepper and a basil leaf sprig. Enjoy.
I had been looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe for years without much luck, until I finally came across this. Even before I made it I got the feeling that this could be the one. When I took my first bite, it was confirmed… my search was finally over, I had found my perfect chocolate cake…and this my friends is it! It is a cake so light, moist and gloriously dark in color and flavor, making it the most sexy chocolate cake I ever tasted. So perfectly beautiful is this cake on its own that it does not even need any tarting up in the form of icing! (which was an important factor as I tend to veer away from home baked cakes with rich icings) It is a stunning black beauty, looking sinfully dark and gorgeous, while it silently beckons you to come hither and devour it.
The whole cake uses half a cup of oil, which I think is pretty low in fat for such a divine tasting cake. Just make sure you use good cocoa powder and you are sure to have a hit on your hands. I used Hershy’s special dark chocolate and got great results. Use any Dutch or Belgian cocoa powder and you should be in cake heaven. I also love the fact that it is so unfussy in its ingredients that most home cooks would have have them in their pantry and could whip this up whenever the mood strikes.
The recipe calls for a cup of sour milk. Now you can’t go around buying sour milk, but can make it in a jiffy by first microwaving for 20 seconds a cup of milk and bringing it down to room temperature, and then adding a tablespoon of white vinegar. Wait a minute or so and behold, you have sour milk which has curdled and can go on with making your cake.
Also into this cake goes a cup of strong coffee. The cake does not taste of coffee at all and the coffee in fact makes the chocolate taste stronger. So don’t think kids will not eat it as they may taste or smell coffee. I found the coffee taste and smell completely undetectable. I also made sure the coffee had cooled to almost room temperature before I used it in the cake.
I stumbled across this amazing recipe on the lovely food52 blog.
THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sour milk
1 cup freshly brewed strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan and dust the inside with cocoa powder, set aside.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In a mixer on low add the milk, coffee, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla one at a time. mix until everything is incorporated. Then, with the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once all of the flour mixture is added, mix the batter for a full four minutes on medium speed.
Then, pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Then, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Oats are a great breakfast in the winter months no doubt, but here is a version to jazz them up and take them to the next level! These have enough oomph to be the star of your weekend breakfast. Perfect for the cold months that are coming up. The other great thing about them is that you are likely to find most of the ingredients in your house already.
The glorious smells of dry ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg along with the crunchy walnuts and seeds in the topping will really make you feel like you are having a bowl of carrot cake for brekkie! I think if you don’t eat giant servings, this may even be enough for four. After me and W ate it on Saturday morning, I had enough left over for two to have breakfast on sunday!
This is also a great recipe if you have people staying over and want your house to smell glorious as everyone is waking up. Also great that it does not require too much work and is relatively quick to put together. I discovered this recipe on green kitchen stories, which is a beyond fantastic blog about eating healthy veg food. It has been slightly adapted to my taste here.
BAKED CARROT CAKE OATMEAL
2 very generous servings
1 cup rolled oats
2 grated carrots
1-2 tablespoon raisins if you like (I did not add)
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tbls maple syrup
1 tsp good vanilla extract or paste
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp of nutmeg powder
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
Turn oven to 180 C or 375 F. Rub coconut oil on the inside of a small ovenproof dish, I used a pie dish.
Place your milk, vanilla and egg together in a bowl and beat to mix with a fork. Mix your oats with the grated carrots. Add the egg and milk mixture to the oats and carrot mixture and pour into the baking dish.
Now mix coconut oil, 2 tbsp maple syrup, the walnuts and the seeds together. If your coconut oil is hard, zap in microwave for 15 seconds to melt it. Scatter this nut seed mixture over your oats and bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Till the top goes nice and crunchy.
Serve with some slightly warmed milk and a little more maple syrup over the top.
I wanted to make this pie for the longest time, the gorgeous pastel green creme de menthe cloud-like marshmallow filling, along with the oreos was enough to appeal to the adult and the kid in me alike! So a couple of weeks ago I finally had the perfect excuse to make it has it was Halloween and my step kids were visiting. It is beautiful, light and minty and tastes superb with an oreo base. The recipe is from the book Kitchen by Nigella Lawson. It was not all smooth sailing however, as there is something weird about this recipe which makes the whole cream and marshmallow mixture split if you beat it even slightly two long. My mixture split twice, before I finally got it right. I was petrified that it would happen again the last time I made it and found the recipe a bit frustrating I have to say.
So after a bit of googling and reading about some other failed attempts by people on the internet on the same recipe, I decided to give it a last go and not whisk the final mix more than necessary. If you do attempt it please don’t whisk the marshmallow mixture into the cream for too long, be sure to turn off the heat under the marshmallows as soon as they start frothing in the milk and be really gentle and quick about it and make sure the mixture has cooled completely before you fold it into the whipped cream.
I used chocolate Oreos with chocolate cream and dark chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate in the base. The chocolate chips really added a lot of nice crunch to the base.
28 chocolate creme filled sandwich cookies (recommended: Oreo or Bourbon biscuits)
2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/4 cup chips)
3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
3 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup creme de menthe
1/4 cup creme de cacao blanc
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Few spots or drops green food coloring, optional
1 loose-bottomed 10-inch fluted tart pan, 2 inches deep
Set aside 1 cookie for later use. Process the remaining cookies and chocolate in a food processor until they form a crumb mixture. Add the butter and process until the mixture starts to clump together.
Press the mixture into a high-sided fluted tart pan, making a smooth base and sides with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put it into the refrigerator to chill and harden.
Melt the marshmallows in a saucepan over low gentle heat along with the milk. Once the milk starts to foam (not boil), take off the heat and keep stirring until the marshmallows blend into the milk to make a smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture out of the saucepan into a heatproof bowl, then whisk in the creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Leave until cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream until it starts to hold soft peaks then, still whisking, add the cooled marshmallow mixture. This filling should be thick but still soft, not stiff or dry, so that it will eventually drop easily out of the bowl into the chilled pie crust.
When the marshmallow mixture and cream are combined, whisk in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
Spread the filling into the chilled base, swirling it about with an icing spatula or silicone spatula to fill evenly. Put the pie in the refrigerator, covered, to chill overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until firm.
Crush the remaining cookie and sprinkle it over the top of the pie before serving.
This is one of my favorite yellow dal recipes, it will give you a taste of what the Mughal emperors ate. So full of flavor and aromas, it will assault your senses. I know this has tons of garlic in it but just trust me and just follow the recipe. With the yogurt and cream, this amount of garlic is perfect as they do mellow it out a little. If you do make it, it is sure to end up on your favorites list weather you like dals or not!
There is a lot less fat in here than what would normally be used in one of these mughlai dals, just to make it more healthier and easier on the waist! If you want to cut it further you could use oil instead, but will end up compromising on the flavor. I think it never hurt anyone to enjoy good things in moderation! It really is so tasty, you will love it!
1 cup toor dal
4 cups water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp or 3 fat cloves crushed garlic
1 cup yoghurt
1/3 cup cream
1 heaped tbsp butter or ghee
1 heaped tbsp butter or ghee
1 small onion
1 tbsp or 3 fat cloves garlic chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chillies
Place the washed daal, water, salt, cayenne pepper and turmeric in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook till dal is tender. Now add the crushed garlic and cook for ten minutes. Add the yoghurt, cream and butter and cook ten more minutes stiring frequently.
For the tempering, in a small frying pan heat a the butter or ghee, add the cumin seeds. Add the onions and chopped garlic along with the dried red chillies. Cook till onions go glazy and slightly brown on edges. Add this mixture to the Dal and stir. If your daal has gone too thick, just add some water till it is the right consistency. It is not meant to be too runny at all. Should be a nice thick luscious daal, perfect for dipping your naan into and scooping up!
I have been in love with Hainan chicken since I had it in Singapore so many years ago. Learnt to make it cause I wanted to eat it so much, and could not always go to Singapore! It’s really simple and extremely tasty, also it is one of those dishes that really don’t take much time to cook! Serve with some stir fried greens and its a really satisfying wholesome meal full of flavor.
In my pictures there is only one dipping sauce with all the chillies and soy sauce added in the spring onion and ginger sauce. My lovely sous chef hubby tried to help, and we ended up with one sauce not two! But anyway, it was still really tasty and I will upgrade pics when I make it next time! You can also buy this really great “chili sauce for chicken” in asian stores, its quite gingery and is always served with Hainan chicken in Singapore. It just completes it for me.
1.2 kg whole organic chicken (corn fed tastes out of this world if you can find it)
2 spring onions
5 coriander sprigs
3/4 tsp salt
4 slices ginger, smashed
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
finely chopped spring onion
Rinse the chicken, drain and place in a large pot. Add the spring onion, coriander, salt, ginger, peppercorns and enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 mins. Turn of the heat and leave the chicken for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and drain well. Skim off any scum from the liquid and strain the liquid. You can use a clever and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, before you serve. I end up serving it in somewhat larger pieces, if I cant convince my husband to cut it into smaller pieces for me. I can’t be bothered cutting through the bones etc myself.
Save 3 cups of stock for cooking your rice, and keep the remainder of the stock to be served in small soup bowls with some chopped spring onions sprinkled on top.
THE DIPPING SAUCES
2 spring onions, sliced
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
Combine ginger, spring onion in a heatproof bowl. ( I just chop the ginger in my blender very fine and then add the spring onions and pulse till they are chopped). Now heat the oil till its smoking and pour over the fresh ingredients.
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 red chillies sliced
For your other dipping sauce, place chopped red chili in a bowl and add the soy sauce.
1.5 tbsp oil
1.5 cup rice, washed
3 cups chicken broth from the Hainan chicken liquid
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch ginger chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Heat oil in a saucepan, add the ginger and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes, so the flavor gets in the oil. Now add your washed rice and stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken broth, salt and bring to a boil. Now reduce the heat and cover till the rice is cooked and all water has evaporated.
These ribs are melt in your mouth tender without the long hours spent slow cooking them. How can that be possible you say? The humble pressure cooker makes it all possible! You must try them out, if you have one, as there is no other way to get such great results so fast! The flavors are asian, with lots of hoisin sauce, honey and ginger. They really are finger licking good!
Me being Indian, I have a pressure cooker in my kitchen which my mom got me. I rarely use it for things other than some indian food, so was happy when I came across this recipe in Food & Wine magazine and had to give it a go! So glad I did, as I have made these ribs many times since. My other favorite slow cooked oven baked ribs are slow cooked for 6 hours in a very low heat, and are absolutely divine when I have the time to make them. You can check out the recipe on Meathead’s amazing website. If you love barbecuing you could lose yourself for hours on his awesome website!
HONEY GLAZED SPARERIBS
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses (I just used pomegranate molasses as that’s all I had at home)
3 1/2 tbsp coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves
3/4 cup honey
1 tbsp sambal oelek or Chinese garlic chilli sauce
2 racks pork spareribs or baby back ribs (4 pounds or 2 kg)
In a blender combine the hoisin sauce with the soy sauce, molasses, ginger, garlic and 1/2 cup of the honey and puree till smooth. Add the samba oelek and pulse to combine.
Cut the ribs into 3 rib sections and transfer to pressure cooker. Add hoisin puree and let stand turning the ribs occasionally, for 45 minutes
Add 1/4 cup of water to the cooker. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Run cold water over pressure cooker to release the pressure. Transfer the ribs to the prepared baking sheet, meaty side up. Boil the cooking juices till reduced to two cups, about 5 minutes. Transfer this hoisin sauce to a bowl.
Preheat your broiler/grill and position the rack 8 inches from the heat. Brush the rib with remaining 1/4 cup of honey and broil, turning once, until the ribs are glazed and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs. Serve ribs with the hoisin pan sauce.
A proper biryani takes forever to make, this is a nice no fuss version when you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen and still want to make something that will hit the spot! It tastes great served with yogurt and a salad.
If you like your biryani more meaty by all means lessen the amount of rice here from 2 cups to 1 or 1.5 cups and then just double the amount of rice to calculate the amount of water you need. If you have some nice stock in the fridge by all means use that to make the flavor even nicer. Lamb or chicken stock would work well.
Minced Lamb Biryani
1 stick cinnamon
1 black cardamom pod, cracked open
5 green cardamoms, cracked open
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, use shah jeera if you have it
2 bay leaves
1.5 tablespoons oil
1 onion, sliced
450 grams of mince lamb or beef or chicken
1 green capsicum, cut into squares or slices
3 sliced green chillies
3 tablespoons of sindhi biryani masala spice mix (if you don’t have this just use some coriander and cumin powders, turmeric, nutmeg, mace)
handful of chopped mint
handful of chopped coriander
handful of dill leaves if you have them
2 cups basmati rice
juice of one lemon
4 cups water
1/4 cup golden raisins
Heat the oil and add the cinnamon, black cardamom, green cardamoms, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves. Let them sizzle for a few seconds and then add the onions. Cook till onions go a bit soft, and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, and then add in your minced lamb and a bit of salt. Keep stirring and break up the mince, cook it till the meat has browned. Add the sindhi biryani masala andthe fresh chopped green chilli, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the washed rice, along with the mint and coriander and dill leaves, stir around and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the water and juice of one lemon. Add a handful of golden raisins. Stir and bring to a boil. Now cover your pot and bring the heat right down, so the rice cooks slowly.
Once the water has dried up and your rice is cooked fluff up your rice with a fork and serve.
This dish is a firm favorite with my daughter Eesha since she was three or four years old! She still loves it with a nice bowl of steaming rice. She would make regular requests for her beloved Ma Po Tofu which she could barely pronounce when she was little! This is a nice quick and easy dish to prepare provided you have all the ingredients at home. It is pretty healthy, quick and perfect for a quick dinner or lunch and of course packed full of flavor. The Sichuan pepper gives such a great dimension to it. And Toban Jiang or chilli bean paste is a must have in my fridge for numerous Chinese dishes (the Lee Kum Kee brand is good).
This recipe is from one of my favorite Chinese cookbooks called “The Food Of China, a journey for food lovers”, its by Murdoch Books. Every recipe turns out really authentic. Its full of fool proof recipes which will give very tasty results. Flicking through the pages will have you drool over the amazing pictures. A really great book if you like Chinese.
I often double the amount of pork in this dish as I like it a bit meatier and use the regular sized tetra pack of silken tofu for this, which is about half of the quantity recommended here.
Ma Po Tofu
750g soft or firm tofu, drained on paper towels (I use silken tofu)
250 g ground beef or pork
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1.5 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chilli bean paste (toban jiang)
250 ml chicken stock
11/2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 spring onion, cut into 2 inch long fine shreds
Cut the tofu into cubes. Place the meat in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the rice wine and the sesame oil, and toss lightly. Dry-fry the peppercorns in a wok or pan until brown and aromatic, then crush lightly.
Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the meat until browned, mashing and chopping to separate the pieces. Remove the meat with a wire sieve or slotted spoon and heat the oil until any liquid from the meat has evaporated. Add the spring onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the chilli bean paste and stir-fry for 5 seconds.
Combine the stock with the remaining soy sauce and rice wine. Add to the wok, bring to the boil and add the tofu and meat. Return to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a quarter. If you are using soft tofu, do not stir or it will break up.
Combine the cornflour with enough water to dissolve it and add to the sauce and simmer until thickened. Season if necessary. Serve sprinkled with the spring onion and Sichuan peppercorns.
This recipe is from Ottolenghi The Cookbook. What can I say – I think he is a true master with food, one of my food heroes! Making this dish like most others from this book is pure joy. Just mixing up the chicken with the marinade and its spices, the cinnamon, sumac, all spice and the fresh cut lemons will mingle together and make your kitchen smell amazing. And the yellows and purples of the lemons and onions do make it look just beautiful. If you don’t have sumac and za’atar then you really must head to your nearest middle eastern grocery and get some, truly its worth having in the cupboard just for this dish alone. But once you do have them, you will open a world of other dishes you can cook. Some other essentials I like picking up while at the middle eastern stores are pomegranate molasses, orange flower water, rose water (Cortas brand for all these is pretty great), and tahini paste (not the health food variety but Palestinian or Lebanese brands like Al Wadi). I like to have these in the kitchen cupboard so whenever inspiration strikes I can just start cooking!
This dish is really great served with some warm wholemeal pita breads, and nice salads. You can marinade the chicken for a few hours or a day earlier, I just marinated for an hour before on this occasion and it still was full of flavor and really tasty. I really like a lot of garlic so I increased the amount of garlic to 5 cloves from 2, for me this was really perfect. While baking in the oven I must say beautiful mouth-watering smells shall fill your house, it’s a really great dish for an easy family dinner or for dinner with a few friends. The convenience factor is really great as it allows you to marinade earlier and prepare ahead and just whack it in the oven 40 minutes before you want to eat. At the end you simply toast some pine nuts with butter and sprinkle on top along with fresh parsley.
1 large chicken, divided into quarters, breast and wing, leg and thigh, or 4 large leg & thigh pieces
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sumac
1-2 lemons, thinly sliced
200 chicken stock or water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp za’atar
20 g unsalted butter
50 g pine nuts
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon, stock or water, salt and pepper. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
2 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced apart. They should be skin-side up. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the tray in the oven. Roast for 30-40 min, until the chicken is coloured and just cooked through.
3 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and cook until they are golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the fat.
4 Transfer the hot chicken to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. You can sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac, if you like.
I think these are the best wedges in the world! I come from Australia, where bonding with good friends often occurs over potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. After moving to the UK or even now in NYC always wondered why the rest of the worlds cafe’s don’t do those yummy potato wedges that we can find every where in Oz.
I stumbled across this recipe in Ottolenghi’s amazing fantastic book Plenty. I have to say they made me fall further in love with Sweet Potatoes then I had ever thought possible. I used to make a variation of these wedges, with just salt and chili powder, but the addition of coriander powder is pure genius. You can count on it that these lovelies will disappear pretty damn fast when you make them.
The other amazing thing is that these will be ready in a jiffy not involving much labor at all, all you do is cut them up into wedges and mix in the olive oil and spices and bake. I also added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper to mine before baking. I baked mine for a bit longer as I like them to go a little crispy, but check them after 25 minutes, I baked mine closer to 35 minutes. For two people I would say make 500g of sweet potatoes.
The lemon grass and lime creme fraiche with ginger will just blow you away. Never fear if you like me, can’t find creme fraiche so easily in NYC, just substitue some sourcream and a tiny bit of yoghurt. I did add a bit of lemon zest too at the end, just thought it looked really pretty with the lime and lemon zest on top, I also added a chopped red chili to the dip as I like a bit of a kick, goes well with the zing of the lime. They smell glorious when baking, great when you have a few friends over or just for one or two. In my enthusiasm to eat these babies up, I just forgot to sprinkle the fresh coriander and chopped chili on top of the wedges before serving. Trust me it tasted divine even without, but will try and remember for next time!
900 g sweet potatoes
11/2 tsp ground coriander
200g or 3/4 cup creme fraiche
1 inch piece grated fresh ginger
juice and zest from 2 limes
1 finely sliced red chili
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Wash the sweet potatoes but do not peel them. Cut every potato in 8 wedges. Cover an oven tray with baking parchment and brush with olive oil. Add the sweet potatoes and brush them too with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and ground coriander on top. Bake in a preheated oven on 210 C or 400 F for 25 minutes.
Chop the lemongrass very finely and mix with the other ingredients for the sauce. Let it mull while the sweet potatoes cook. When serving sprinkle chili and coriander on the sweet potatoes. Serve with the sauce on the side.
I really love the way the way the Greeks do their potato salad, its really simple and the taste is fantastic! The olive oil and lemon dressing keeps it light and perfect for summer. A good healthy alternative to the potato salads loaded with mayo! I love it served as one of the salads served with some nice fish or meat. It goes with anything really, great for picnics and barbecues too.
Just be sure to cook your potatoes till they are getting just about soft, or they tend to break as you mix in the dressing. I would have preferred mind to be cooked a few less minutes then I did yesterday.
Recipe (serves 2)
2 chopped salad onions/spring onions or 1 small regular onion
500 grams potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
chopped fresh oregano 2 teaspoons or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
chopped fresh parsley 2 teaspoons if you like
1/3 cup olive oil
2tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
When boiling your potatoes, use salted water and do not overcook them, they should be just about be getting soft when you drain them in the colander.
Mix your lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and peppers, add the chopped spring onions and chopped oregano leaves, and whisk with a fork to combine. Pour the dressing over your cooked potatoes and mix. You can now chill them for a bit before serving or serve them warm if its winter.