An unexpected pleasure…

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I thought I was quite well “travelled” when it came to foods from different cultures. Apparently not.
When a family member said “we’re inviting you around for dinner”, we thought oh goodie, someone cooking for us!! That’s a novelty! Not that we don’t love cooking for others, actually we secretly thrive on it (don’t tell anyone) but sometimes being a vegetarian means you’re quite often on the bench.
And then when a text comes through “We’re preparing a Jewish meal!”.. We both sat there looking at each other thinking “what the hell…” To our amazement, we had never (knowingly) had any traditional Jewish food, to the point we couldn’t even think of a single Jewish recipe!
As we drove up, with some trepidation, knocked on the door, walked in… We were welcomed by such powerful and delightful aromas!
We were then taken through the taste journey we would experience that afternoon! WOW!
Colin and Jane, my partners uncle and aunt, had prepared a full vegetarian meal… All because of me! Blown away by that aspect alone, no non-vegetarian host had ever, I mean ever prepared a full vegetarian menu (bearing in mind, out of eight, I was the only vegetarian)… There was a token small dish of chicken if anybody wanted to add it, which no-one did.

The front cover of the book that inspired this meal and opened my virgin eyes to this new world (ironic as it is possibly one of the oldest) of foods is shown below. We’ve just ordered this book.. No doubt there will be recipes inspired by it on here in due course.

Keep your mind open and thank you Jerusalem.. And Colin and Jane!

The book is Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi..

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Tony Singh’s Goats’ Cheese, red onion and caraway seed tart.

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Wow!
And double wow!
When you see a recipe on TV (The Incredible Spice Men) and your mouth waters. You know all too often when you yourself try it… Your taste buds feel cheated by your eyes. This recipe does no such thing! The melding of red onions, caraway seeds and balsamic vinegar into a rich onion marmalade, complimented with goats’ cheese is truly inspirational!

What you need
Shortcrust pastry… You can make your own or buy it.

The onion marmalade…
85g unsalted butter… Use what you have and season later accordingly.
450g of red onions… Thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar… I added two!
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
80ml of balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

The filling…
2 free-range eggs… medium or large
200ml of double cream
150-200g of goats’ cheese… sliced
Fresh coriander… Just the leaves for a garnish

Tart/flan case 25cm/10″… I used a 9″ case and it will serve 4.

What to do

Pastry case
Roll out your pastry, pick it up using your rolling pin and lay into tart case… Trimming the pastry before you cook it but remembering there will be shrinkage. How to trim your pastry!
Prick the base with a fork.
Preheat the oven on 190C (375F/Gas mark 5.
Line the base with parchment and fill with baking beans.
Place in oven for about 10 minutes, remove beans and parchment, replace in oven until the base is golden brown… it takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove and set aside ready to be filled.

The onion marmalade…
Using a large frying pan (make sure you have a way of covering it), add the butter and oil on a medium heat until it foams.
Add the onions and caraway seeds and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the soft brown sugar, season with salt and black pepper, stir and cover for 10 to 15 minutes. You will notice the juices will have come out of the onion.
Uncover the pan and increase the heat. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes to reduce the liquid. Whilst waiting preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas mark 6.
When the mixture reaches a consistency of marmalade, remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
Continue to season to taste.

The filling…
Crack the eggs into a jug, add the double cream and beat.
Add the onion marmalade mix to the jug and mix together.

Pour the mixture into the pastry case.
Slice the goats’ cheese and arrange on top.
Place in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and garnish with coriander leaves.

What to do next..
Serve with whatever you want.. Whether it’s a light salad or sweet potato wedges.. But importantly…

Share and enjoy!

Ps.. Apologies for the picture, we were so looking forward to eating it I forgot to take a picture until we’d eaten most of it!

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Tom Kha… Thai Coconut Vegetable Soup

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This is an adapted vegan recipe for this delicious Thai Coconut Vegetable Soup… Also known as Tom Kha.
This recipe serves at least 8 people, so a big pot is needed… Obviously you can adapt it yourself.

What you need…
3 large white onions… Diced small
6 red/orange bell peppers… Diced
8 cloves of garlic… Pressed and chopped
3 carrots… Sliced
3 tins of chickpeas
10 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of cumin powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4 large ripe tomatoes… Diced
2 tins of coconut milk
4 tablespoons of peanut butter… Smooth
500ml of vegetable stock
Juice from 6 limes
Salt to taste
A big bunch of fresh coriander… Chopped
Fresh red chillies… For garnish

What you need to do…
In a large pan sauté the onions, peppers and garlic in a large pot… Until soft, should take about 5-10 minutes on a low to medium heat.
Add the rest except the fresh coriander and simmer for an hour on a low heat.
Take half the soup and blend it thoroughly and add back to the main pot.
Stir in the fresh chopped coriander… Keep some back for a garnish.
Season with salt to taste.

What you need to do next…
Serve in bowls…
Garnish with fresh coriander and finely sliced red chillies.
Serve with you best crusty bread.. Only if you want to, it’s delicious as it is!

Enjoy!

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Marsala Panettone Trifle… A very wrong dessert!

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For the second year we have created this Marsala infused trifle using the traditional Italian Panettone. I think this year we’ve just about got it right! This recipe was inspired by ones from Gino D’Acampo, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson.

What you need…
For the trifle
150ml Marsala wine
500g of frozen berries
100g golden/soft brown sugar
200g mascarpone
500g Vanilla custard.. Madagascan vanilla custard is the best and worth it!
1 small Panettone.. About 500g
500ml double cream

For the jelly
1 tablespoon of Agar.. To make 240ml of jelly
200ml Marsala wine
2 tablespoons of caster sugar

Garnish
Fresh pomegranate seeds… Optional

What you need to do…
Jelly
Follow the instructions to make the Agar based jelly.. You will need about 240ml …you can obviously just use gelatine for a non-vegetarian version
Add the 200ml of Marsala wine to a pan with the sugar and warm through to dissolve. Then add the Agar jelly mixture.
This then needs to be added to a shallow tray (about 1 to 2 cm depth) and set in the fridge.

The trifle..
Put the Marsala wine and sugar in a pan and warm through.. Stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add the berries and warm through on a medium heat until the fruit softens but does not lose its form. Allow to cool.
Cut the Panettone into 2cm cubes and line the bottom of glass dish/bowl… This can be at least 2 to 3 cube depth. At this point you may want to drizzle some Marsala wine onto the Panettone for an extra kick.
Pour the berry/Marsala mix over the Panettone and allow to soak.
Cut the strawberries in half, length ways and arrange against the side of the side of the dish.. Forming a line on top of the Panettone (see picture).

Mix the mascarpone and custard until smooth.. Then pour onto the bad berry mix.
Whisk the double cream until it can be spooned. Then spoon in dollops onto the top.. It looks better when it looks a bit mad and not smooth… But that’s just me!
Cut the set Marsala jelly into cubes and sprinkle randomly on the top.
Finally sprinkle the pomegranate jewels over the top.

What to do next…

Eat and share and indulge…

Enjoy!

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22.6 teaspoons of sugar, GDA’s, RI’s, DRV’s and other sweet nothing’s…

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There’s been a lot in the press and media recently about the not-so sweet nothing’s… A colleague today sent me a link saying ‘you might find this interesting…”. I hope that was due to me being a foodie rather than the ‘tyre’ around my midriff!

How much sugar do we eat?

Thank you Steph!

Enjoy!!

Lime pickle Potato Salad

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2 years ago I went to close friends 60th birthday bash and I found this little gem… Lime Pickle Salad …and yes it’s taken me 2 years to write the recipe! using Patak’s.. And believe it or it’s quick with very little prep time… Just what you need for Christmas!

What you need…

1kg of washed not peeled salad potatoes
3 heaps of any Indian lime pickle ….I used Patak’s (Hot or Medium) which is available in most stores
A small slab of butter
Salt
A handful of fresh coriander
A red onion …optional

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What you need to do…
Wash and halve or quarter the salad potatoes …depending on size.
Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling water until cooked… can take about 15-20mins but keep checking with a knife!
Whilst waiting… Chuck the lime pickle into a blender and blitz to a paste.
Thinly slice the onions… rings are nice
Once the potatoes are boiled, do not over boil, they need to keep their shape… drain the water and gently simmer with the butter and onions for 5 minutes.
Add the blitzed lime pickle and stir until all the potatoes are covered liberally.
Add the fresh coriander…chopped or torn.
And simmer and stir for another 5 minutes.

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Add a pinch or so of salt… And stir into the mix…don’t forget to taste as you go along!

What to do next…
These can be served warm or cold.
A great alternative to the normal potato salad at parties.
Eat and share with pitta, salads or just by themselves!

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Enjoy!

Three weeks later… Off to a friends party and have TOLD to make this or we won’t be let in!!

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This one has the addition of finely chopped red onions at the end…

Tasty Tortilla Treat


foodmemoirz:

A must try recipe!

Originally posted on foodmemoirz's Blog:

I quite often have tortilla wraps in the freezer, just in case I want a “I can’t be bothered, I have two things in my fridge, and need something tasty” kinda moments!

Although I’ll be using a tomato and a mushroom, you can just use anything you have, as long as you can cook it by grilling!

What you need…

A couple of Tortilla wraps (or just one if you fold it)
Any strong cheese that melts nicely… I usually use a good mature cheddar or smoked Applewood
A tomato
A couple of mushrooms
Fresh basil or coriander
Red chillie flakes ….or fresh ones or jalapeño’s

I use a Thava (check out The Lazy Man’s Kitchen) instead of grill pan..it’s just easier!

What you need to do…

1. Finely slice the tomato into discs and arrange them onto one tortilla.

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2. Do the same with…

View original 137 more words

Bhootni Ki Chutney.. Spicy fresh mint chutney (revised)

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This is a recipe I have tried to get right for so long and I think I finally cracked it..

After the fourth phone call to Jhaiji..
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…more note taking, the recipe I am happy with is…

What you need…
A fistful of fresh mint
4 white onions
2 green chillies… less if you want it milder!
2 teaspoons of Um Choor…it’s a sour mango powder, still quite specialised but can be bought from large supermarkets.
1 teaspoon of any white sugar.
1 teaspoon of salt.

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What you need to do…

This has got to be one of the simplest ones…

Chuck it all into a blender until it’s chopped…you can leave it fairly chunky, onions approx 5mm, I advise you not to turn it into a purée!

Optional… my father, Papaji, says you can also chuck in an apple before blending.

What to do next…

Spoon it into jars and keep in the fridge. Use it at will (great with crackers!)… Delicious with Masoor Ki Daal!!

Don’t forget to Share!

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Enjoy!!

Ps.. Guilty pleasure disclosure… When no ones looking I put a spoonful of chutney on a hot roti (or naan or pitta) with a knob of butter. It slowly melts into the chutney and I tear bits of roti off ….and scoop up the chutney and eat it! Not the healthiest of suggestions but it’s sooooo delicious!

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