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Archive: Dec 2013

Thai pork and peanut curry

This is the last recipe for 2013! Happy New Year to you all and thank you so much for signing up to the blog.

This was the top BBC Good Food recipe for 2013 and is well worth doing.

Serves 4

Use a fragrant hot red curry base (available in Asian markets) as the base to this curry dish with baby sweet corn, cilantro and soy sauce.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions (spring onions) sliced
a small bunch fresh cilantro, stalks finely chopped, leaves picked
1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced
4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
a 14 fl oz can of coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk too)
1/2 a 14 oz tin of  baby corn, drained
juice of 1 lime
steamed Jasmine rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof Dutch oven.
Add the scallions and cilantro stalks and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork slices and cook for 5 mins until starting to brown.
Stir in the curry paste and peanut butter.
After 30 seconds, add the sugar, soy sauce and coconut milk, plus 1/2 can water.
Mix well, put a lid on and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid, add the baby corn and increase the heat.
Bubble for 3 minutes until the corn is heated through and the sauce has thickened a little.
Stir in the lime juice and check the seasoning.

*  It can now be frozen for up to 2 months at this point

To cook from frozen, thoroughly defrost, then heat in a pan on the hob until the curry is hot all the way through.
Serve scattered with the cilantro leaves and steamy hot Jasmine rice

Golden beet and leek fritters with yoghurt and lemon sauce

I’m always on the lookout for interesting vegetarian options for dinner and this is a really light and lovely starter from a fellow blogger.

Yields 12 fritters

3 medium golden beets, peeled and shredded
3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (or all purpose flour)
1 large egg, well beaten
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I roast my own)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil for frying

For the sauce

1/2 cup yoghurt
juice of 1/2 lemon

Toss the shredded beets, leeks, egg, flour, spices, salt and pepper together on a bowl.

Blend the yoghurt and lemon to make the sauce

Coat the bottom of a cast iron or other heavy skillet with olive oil

When the oil is hot, drop tablespoons of the beet mixture into the pan, flattening them out into rounds. You should hear a strong sizzle when the mixture hits the pan, or your oil isn’t hot enough.

Cook until golden and tender, about 3 minutes per side.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot with the lemon yoghurt


Quick roasted Brussels sprouts with coconut ginger sauce

Okay, one more Brussels sprout recipe, because it’s so different!

Serve 2

Spicy coconut ginger sauce
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp sugar or Agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp reduced sodium tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/2 to 2 tsp chili garlic sauce, to taste
1 tsp rice vinegar (or lime juice)

The Brussels sprouts
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, nubby ends cut off and sliced in half. Use smaller sprouts
1 tbsp coconut oil
A sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat your broiler. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, ginger and sugar/agave nectar. Add the chili garlic sauce, to taste. Whisk the ingredients together and simmer for a couple of minutes to infuse the flavors., stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice vinegar/lime juice.

Set a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stove. Let it heat up for 2 to 3 minutes.
It should be so hot that a few drops of water sizzle and quickly disappear after contact.

Toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with the coconut oil and salt. Toss well, so that the sprouts are evenly coated in a thin layer of the oil.
Once the pan is hot, dump the sprouts into the pan and quickly rearrange them so the flat side is down. Let them cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are starting to brown on the bottom.

Transfer the pan to the broiler. Let the Brussels sprouts broil for about 3 minutes. Check them for doneness – their tops should be a little browned and the bottoms caramelized.

Transfer the sprouts to a bowl and drizzle the coconut ginger sauce over them and serve

Addicting Asian sesame garlic noodles

This recipe is to die for and you won’t be able to stop eating them. You can serve this dish hot or at room temperature and is perfect for a pot luck as you can make the sauce ahead of time, prep whatever you’re going to add to the noodles, and just cook the spaghetti nearer the serving time.
You can augment this recipe as much as you want, but be careful with the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it.

These noodles are great just with a few chopped scallions added, but you can also add;
cooked prawns
chopped cilantro
chopped scallions
cooked chicken pieces
chopped red pepper

For 1/2lb spaghetti

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp re pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Add these ingredients to a food processor.
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water, according to the instructions of the packet. Drain the pasta and put it into a large bowl and add the sauce into the hot drained pasta.
Add anything else you want and toss well.

Roasted pesto, parmesan vegetable traybake

Yesterday, I did another traybake. I was on my own so decided to cut up a whole pile of vegetables, toss them with a container of pesto sauce from Trader Joes, lots of garlic, and when they were 3/4 through with the roasting, I threw at least half a container of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over everything and roasted it till it was all melted and browned.
It was divine and so healthy!

Preheat oven to 350 F


 You can choose whatever is in your fridge, but I used;
3 leeks, sliced into 1 inch slices
1lb Brussel Sprouts, trimmed
1/2 large cauliflower broken into florets
2 large red onions, cubed into 1 “ pieces
2 Delicata squash, unpeeled and cubed into 1” pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1 “ slices

6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 container Trader Joes pesto sauce (8oz)
6 oz (at least) grated Parmigano Reggiano

Put all the vegetables into a very large bowl then season well and add the garlic and pesto sauce.

Mix together well with your hands and tip all the contents out onto a large baking tray with shallow sides, like the one in the picture.

Roast the vegetables for 25 mins then turn all the vegetables to avoid burning and continue to roast for another 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese and return to oven, turning the oven up to 400F for another 15 to 20 minutes until toasty and melted.

Serve on it’s own, or with a salad


Double stuffed butternut squash

What is even better than stuffed baked potatoes? These!
Butternut squash is mashed with lots of cheese and bacon, then stuffed back into the squash and baked to make this gorgeous and comforting dish

Serves 4 but can easily be doubled

2 butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 lbs each
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1lb bacon
2 to 3 cups very sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup good parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp dried thyme
thinly sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 425 F
Halve each butternut squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
Roast just until tender, about 35 to 40 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Decrease the oven temperature to 375 F

Cut the bacon into small pieces, then cook in a skillet until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4” around the edges to keep the squash intact.
Mash the squash flesh with 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, all of the ricotta, sage and thyme.
Add in half of the bacon, season and stir to combine.
Stuff the squash shells with the mashed squash.
Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and parmesan.
Bake until heated through and the cheese on top has melted, about 20 minutes.
Garnish with the green onions and remaining bacon


Chicken “Gloria”

There is something about this dish. I always hesitate before putting recipes on my blog with any form of tinned soup in them, but this is just way too good not to and it’s “gloriously” delicious and comforting.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and filleted in half lengthways
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 8oz container of fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sherry
1 small can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup whole milk
6 slices of Muenster cheese
3 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, dredge lightly in flour to coat both sisdes. Shake off the excess.
Add oil to a frying pan and brown the chicken in batches on both sides. You don’t need to cook the chicken completely. It will finish cooking in the oven.
Transfer the chicken to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Add the butter to the frying pan and let it melt over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and brown them until golden. Then add the sherry and cook for another minutes or two.
Add the creamy mushroom soup and milk and mix well.

Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top each piece of chicken with one slice of Muenster cheese. You can fold the cheese in half if it is too wide for the breast.

Place the chicken back in the oven, uncovered and broil for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the cheese.
Remove from the oven, top with the chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Creamy cauliflower sauce for pasta

Who would have thought this positively sexy, creamy, velvety sauce was actually healthy and good for you? That wonderful vegetable, the cauliflower is responsible for this gorgeous sauce.

Makes about 6 cups

6 cups fresh cauliflower florets
7 – 7 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
8 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring a large pot of chicken broth to a rolling boil.
Add the cauliflower florets and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Remove the cauliflower from the pot with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 cup of the broth for blending.
While the cauliflower is cooling, saute the garlic and butter in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
Place the cauliflower, reserved broth, sauteed garlic and butter, milk, salt and Parmesan cheese to a blender.
Blend on high for 3 to 5 minutes, stopping as needed to add liquid and adjust the seasonings to your taste..
Serve hot over your favorite pasta



Warming, sweet and spicy chestnut and chorizo soup

So delicious and soul satisfying with the flavors from the mountains of Spain.
Serve 4

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 medium carrot , diced,
1 stick of celery, peeled and sliced thinly
5 oz mild Spanish chorizo, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin (I roast my own)
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 small dried red chiles, crushed
2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped
1lb cooked, peeled chestnuts, vacuum packed, roughly chopped
20 saffron threads infused into 4 tbsp boiling water
2.2 pints water or chicken broth
sea salt and black pepper

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and fry the onion, celery, carrot, chorizo and a pinch of salt.
Fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until everything caramelizes and you get a good brown color.
This will give the soup a wonderfully rich color and flavor.
Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chile and cook for 1 more minute, followed by the tomato and after about 2 more minutes, the chestnuts.
Give everything a good stir then add the saffron infused liquid and the water or stock and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and mash by hand with a potato masher until almost smooth but still leaving some texture.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.