the recipe sharer

Archive: Aug 2013

Mango and ginger cheesecake with kiwi fruit sauce

I must thank the wonderful New Zealand cookery book writer, Annabel Langbein, for this wonderful recipe.
It is utterly sumptuous and darn right sexy!  The kiwi fruit sauce is so easy and adds such a wonderfully exotic and refreshing addition too.
You can cut individual cheesecakes like the one pictured above with a round cutter which look great or you can serve it in slices.

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups plain sweet cookie crumbs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped macadamia nuts or toasted almonds
4 oz butter, melted
3 tsp powdered gelatine
1/4 cup water
9 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cream
2 x 15 oz cans mangos in juice, drained
1/4 cup chopped crystallized or uncrystallized ginger


Mix the cookie crumbs and nuts together.
Stir in the melted butter and combine evenly. Press into a 9-10inch spring form pan.  Chill

Heat the gelatine and water in a small pan and stir well to dissolve.
Place in a food processor bowl with the cream, cream cheese, sugar, cream and half the mangos.
Puree until smooth.
Finely chop the remaining mangos and stir into the cream cheese mixture with the ginger.
Pour into the prepared base.
Chill for 4 to 5 hours.

This will store covered for 2 to 3 days.

For the kiwi fruit sauce
3 peeled kiwi fruit
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Place 2 of the peeled kiwi fruit and the other ingredients in a food processor. Puree in short bursts to prevent seeds pulverizing. (or the sauce will be bitter)
Chill.  it will keep 2-3 days.
Use the 3rd kiwi to slice and fan across the cheesecake.
Makes about 1 cup

Pate with Asian influence

This pate is a little different due to the Asian flavors added. Thank you to the wonderful Hugh Carpenter who has some superb Asian-ized recipes which I adore!

It takes minutes to make this in a food processor and continues to improve in flavor if made a day or two in advance

Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer

1/2 lb chicken or turkey livers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
2 shallots, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 heaped tsp grated or finely minced orange peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 tsp 5-spice powder
1/4 tsp Chinese chile sauce (optional)
3 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp Cognac
Sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish

In advance

Trim the fat and sinew from the livers and discard. Cut the livers in half.

In a 10 inch saute pan set over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter saute the shallots, ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds.
Add the livers, cover the pan and cook until the livers are no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the livers to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Scrape all the pan juices into the processor as well then add oyster sauce, mustard powder, orange peel, salt, sugar, 5-spice and chile sauce.
Process until completely smooth.
Add the cream cheese to the food processor and blend briefly.
Add the remaining butter and blend until very smooth.
Add the Cognac and blend again briefly.

Transfer the puree to a 2- cups mold. Smooth the surface and cover with plastic wrap to the top doesn’t discolor.
Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with either crackers or toasty bread


Orange and currant pilaf

I guess I am on a “rice roll” maybe because I was asked recently if I had any gluten free recipes. I haven’t labelled every recipe GF yet, but intend to, however it made me think about putting more rice dishes on the blog, partly because I am always looking to “raise the bar” with all the dishes, and its so easy to add interesting things to rice.
This dish is so fresh and clean tasting, it’s wonderful with broiled or baked fish or shellfish.

With this recipe you can substitute the currants with golden raisins or black raisins of you can’t find currants. It will look different but taste pretty similar.
Below is a picture using golden raisins.

Serves 4

1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup basmati white rice
1 tbsp dried currants (or raisins/golden raisins if you don’t have currants)
1 heaped tsp finely shredded orange zest
1 heaped tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 3/4 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt or to taste (you may not need it if you’re using broth)
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and saute over low heat, stirring until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice, currants, orange zest and ginger and saute over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes.

Stir in the water/broth and salt (only if you’re using water) and heat to boiling, stirring.
Cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes or until the water/broth is absorbed.
Let stand, uncovered off the heat for 5 minutes before serving

Garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley for some more color

Stir-fried glazed chicken, rice and cashews

This is a complete meal with buckets of flavor and texture. My favorite food is Asian as I find it so light but with the most exquisite flavors. In this picture you will see snow peas (mange tout) used instead of red bell peppers. I love red pepper, but not everyone does, so this is a very good substitute.

Serves 4

1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp sugar
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut crosswise into thin slices
2 extra-large eggs
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp peanut oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashew nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup slivered red bell pepper, or snow peas
3 scallions, trimmed and cut diagonally into thin slices
2 to 3 cups cooked short grain brown rice or long grain white or brown rice
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Brown sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp water or chicken broth (I use chicken broth)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Combine the soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1/2 tsp minced ginger, and sugar in a small bowl.
Add the chicken and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate, covered for 1 hour or more

Whisk the eggs, remaining 1/4 tsp of sesame oil, salt and pepper until frothy. Heat 1 tsp of the peanut oil in a skillet or wok until hot. Add the eggs, tilt the pan so that a thin pancake forms and cook until set. Transfer to a plate, cut up into thin strips and set aside.

To make the brown sauce; Combine the oyster sauce, water or stock, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside until ready for use.

Just  before serving, heat 1 tbsp of the remaining peanut oil in a wok or heavy large, preferably nonstick  skillet until very hot.
Add the cashews and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to a side dish. Add the remaining tbsp of oil and reheat. Add the remaining 2 tsp of minced ginger and the garlic, and stir fry for 20 seconds. Add the marinated chicken and stir fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the red pepper or snow peas and scallions, and stir fry for 1 minute more.

Add the rice and egg strips and pour the brown sauce over the top.
Stir fry until all the ingredients are well blended and the rice is very hot, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Serve at once sprinkled with the cashews and some chopped cilantro.

Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

So tasty, tangy and nutty, you won’t want to stop eating this salad!!

For the salad

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrot
3 baby or 2 normal bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced trimmed scallions
1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil

To make the salad, combine the brown rice, shredded bok choy, peas, cilantro, peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until well combined.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, accordingly. Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad, a bit at a time, tossing gently to coat.
Taste and add more dressing as necessary. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Ginger green beans

I’ve recently been coming across recipes I used to make years ago and had forgotten about.
Due to eating too much on our recent two week vacation in the wine country, we both feel we need to clean up our act and lose some weight.
This is a lovely recipe, as it’s packed full of interesting gingery flavor but incredibly low in calories.

Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plus 1&1/2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1&1/2 lbs green beans, trimmed
1&1/2 cups chicken broth
freshly ground black pepper and salt

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until lightly browned.

Add the beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the chicken broth and continue cooking, tossing,for about 5 minutes until the liquid evaporates and the beans are tender. (If they are still too crispy, you can cover the pan for a short time, then remove the lid to reduce the sauce)
Season with pepper and salt and serve immediately


Roasted vegetable couscous salad with harissa-style dressing

I am not a vegetarian but seem to have a lot of vegetarian recipes on this blog. I adore vegetarian food and always feel better when eating it, I just can’t do without the other stuff!

This is one of, if not the best vegetarian salads you can make.
Delia Smith is a genius in combining these vegetables, lettuces and grains into something you will remember for a long time.

Serve 4 as a main or 8 as a starter

For the roasted vegetables
1 small eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1lb cherry tomatoes, skinned, if you have the patience!
1 small red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 small bulb fennel, chopped
1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1 inch squares
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn so that they stay visible
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 oz pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the couscous
10 oz medium couscous
18 fl oz vegetable stock, put on to boil. (If you are not vegetarian, it’s nice to use chicken stock)
4oz firm goat’s cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
1 x 3oz packet mixed lettuce leaves (such as lettuce, cilantro leaves, flat leaf parsley, arugula, spring mix etc)

For the dressing
4 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
1 rounded tsp cayenne pepper
2 level tbsp ground cumin (I use home roasted)
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
4 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

To garnish
1 level tbsp black onion seeds

You will need a large shallow roasting tin for the vegetables

First, prepare the roasted vegetables;
Prepare the eggplant and zucchini ahead of time by cutting them into 1 inch dice, leaving their skins on. Then toss the dice in a level dessertspoon of salt and pack them into a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of the plate. Leave them on one side for a hour so that some of the bitter juices drain out (Put a bowl underneath to catch the liquid)
After that, squeeze out any juices left and dry the dice thoroughly in a clean cloth.

Preheat the oven to 475 F
Now arrange the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, fennel and onions in the roasting tin, sprinkle with the crushed garlic, basil and olive oil, toss everything around in the olive oil to get a good coating and season well with salt and pepper.
Place the tin on the highest shelf in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges. When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers then remove them to a plate to cool.

When you’re ready to assemble the salad, first place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling stock over it, add some salt and pepper, stir it with a fork then leave on one side for 5 minutes, by which time it will have absorbed all the stock and softened.
Meanwhile cut the cheese into sugar-cube sized pieces.
Make up the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a serving pitcher.

To serve this wonderful salad, place the couscous in a large, wide salad bowl, (a clear bowl is lovely so you can see the layers, see the picture)
Gently fork in the cubes of cheese along with the roasted vegetables.
Next arrange the salad leaves on top and just before serving, drizzle a little of the dressing over the top followed by a sprinkling of onion seeds and hand the rest of the dressing around separately.

Note – Onion seeds look gorgeous on this salad, but beware, they can get stuck in your teeth which can make you look like you have a mouth full of fillings!


Spicy jerk prawn and mango, black bean tacos with a Caribbean coconut dressing

I just love the BBC Good Food website and magazine. Interesting, exotic and very different flavors from the Caribbean

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 1.19.40 PM

12oz raw peeled prawns
1/2 tbsp Jamaican jerk paste
14 to 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large ripe mango, stoned, peeled and diced small
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 seedless or de-seeded cucumber, diced small
A bunch of cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
8 taco shells
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Boston Bibb lettuces or romaine, shredded

For the dressing
6 fl oz unsweetened coconut milk
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 good pinches of sugar

Stir the prawns and jerk paste together in a bowl and set aside.
Mix together the dressing ingredients.
Tip the beans into a bowl along with the mango, onion, cucumber, most of the cilantro, the dressing and some seasoning
Warm the taco shells following the packet’s instructions.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the prawns and cook for 2 -3 mins or until cooked through.
To build the tacos, start with a handful of shredded lettuce, followed by the bean salad, then top with the prawns.
Sprinkle over the remaining cilantro and serve.

Use up leftover taco shells by crushing and scattering them over a salad for some extra crunch or blitz them in a food processor and use to coat fish or chicken when frying in place of breadcrumbs.

Fried halloumi cheese with lime and caper sauce

This is Delia Smith’s divine, pungent and easy sauce you can put over fried halloumi cheese, or grilled and marinated prawns, fish, chicken or pork.
It is light, tangy and really worth making to take your piece of protein to a new level

This recipe serves 2, but can be doubled easily

1 halloumi cheese (Many supermarkets stock this, otherwise it’s available in Middle Eastern markets)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 level tbsp well-seasoned flour

Dressing ingredients
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 heaped tsp grain mustard
1 level tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

a few sprigs fresh cilantro

First of all, unwrap the cheese and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Then, using a sharp knife, slice it into 8 slices, including the ends.
Now prepare the dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.

When you’re ready to serve the halloumi, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is really hot, press each slice of cheese into the seasoned flour to coat it on both sides, then add them to the hot pan as they are done – they take 1 minute on each side to cook., so by the time the last one’s in, it will almost be time to turn the first one over.
They need to be a good golden color on each side.

Serve them straight away on warmed plates with the dressing poured over and garnished with sprigs of cilantro

This is good served with lightly toasted pita bread or Greek bread with toasted sesame seeds

** If you decide to have this lime and caper sauce with grilled fish, prawns or meat, follow the same recipe for the sauce and serve it in a separate container beside the grilled meat/fish.
You will love this!

Coq au riesling

This is one of the great Nigel Slater’s recipes. I love his food as it has so much flavor and is easy.
I know you’ve probably had Coq au vin many times, but this is ten times tastier, creamier and has a real depth in flavor.
Make sure you serve this with really good warm crusty bread because everyone will be wanting to mop up the incredible sauce.

Serves 2 but you can easily double or treble it

4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz bacon (streaky) or pancetta, diced
2  onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 joints of organic, free range chicken on the bone, seasoned with salt and pepper (I used whole chicken legs)
10 oz small cremini (brown) mushrooms, halved or quartered
16 fl oz medium dry white wine, such as Riesling
10 fl oz heavy cream
4 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Melt the butter in a heavy shallow cast iron dish like the one in the photograph (Le Creuset) and pour in the oil.
Put in the diced bacon or pancetta and let it color a little then add the onions and garlic.
Leave to cook over a moderate heat until the onions have softened but not yet colored.

Scoop the bacon and onions out with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the cooking juices, then add the seasoned chicken pieces.
Let them brown lightly on all sides. A moderate heat is best for this but be prepared to add a little more oil if the butter shows signs of browning.

Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the juices in the pan and continue cooking for 10 mins, then return the bacon, onions and chicken pieces to the pan.
Turn up the heat, pour in the wine and bring quickly to the boil and then turn it down to a simmer.
Let everything cook at a gentle bubble for 25 to 35 minutes, turning the chicken from time to time.

Lift the chicken out of the pan and pour in the cream. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and stir in the chopped parsley.
Continue cooking at an enthusiastic bubble until the cream starts to thicken slightly.

Return the chicken to the pan.
When the chicken is thoroughly hot and the sauce has thickened it is time to serve!