Spicy baked chicken and potatoes


DSC_0275When you can feel the carnivore inside of you bubbling with primal instincts to tear into something meaty, something delicious and spicy, this chicken recipe with potatoes is just the thing. Savagely inoculated with flavours on a loudspeaker, there is nothing remotely subtle about this dish. It’s deliciously loud with mouthwatering piquancy, tender, juicy of flesh and drool inducing. The balance of tastes rendered stupefyingly lush with succulent aromas is so heady that it’ll send your entire house warming with tempting incense of tantalizing proportions.

Cooking it with potatoes just makes it a more complete meal, and there’s nothing more you’d wish for a better lunch.

 

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It doesn’t involve much in the way of fanfare, and most ingredients are easily available. Chicken drumsticks, olive oil, honey, crushed garlic, oregano, cumin powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, lemon juice and potatoes. I’ve used two different kinds of potatoes, but feel free to use whatever potatoes you like or have on hand.

 

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for tender, juicier results we want to marinade the chicken for which you begin by slashing said chicken down to the bone. This helps with even cooking, and lets the spices penetrate in deep.

 

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The marination is easy. Mix all the spices in a bowl

 

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along with lemon juice

 

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honey

 

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and olive oil

 

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mix it all together to form a sort of paste.

 

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Coat the drumsticks in the the marinade, making sure it’s seriously coated.

 

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cover with a cling wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple hours. You can do this bit of activity sometime during breakfast if you want to make it for lunch.

 

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Prep your potatoes by cutting into bite sized cubes

 

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drizzle a bit of olive oil

 

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and a bit of salt. Nothing else needs be done to the potatoes.

 

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Be sure to take the chicken out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before baking, so as to allow them to come to room temperature.

 

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give it a final quick mix in the marinade before baking

 

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place drumsticks on a bed of potatoes and bake at 200° for 30-35 minutes

 

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about half way between baking time pull out the chicken and slather all the remaining marinade on top and under using tongs to rotate these pieces to get an even marination.

You won’t believe how good it smells.

 

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This is it! they’re done. Let them rest for a few minutes before chomping in. Tender, moist, juicy, succulent. They’re so delicious you’d have to find another word for delicious, and don’t even get me started on the potatoes that have soaked in the flavours from the marinade and turned into crispy pieces of delectable spuds. YUM!

 

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Ingredients

Chicken drumsticks: 3-4 in nos.

Potatoes: 2 in nos (1 sweet and 1 regular baking potato)

olive oil: 1 tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

For the marinade

Crushed garlic: 1 Tbsp (2-3 garlic cloves)

Dried oregano: 1 Tbsp

Cumin powder: 1 Tbsp

Paprika: 1 Tbsp

Crushed black pepper: 1/2 Tbsp

Salt: 1 tsp

Lemon juice: 2 Tbsps

Honey: 1 tsp

Olive oil: 4 Tbsps (60 mls)


Recipe instructions

Make slashes on the chicken drumsticks to the bone, especially on its thickest parts, and make sure the meat has no water sticking to it or dry it with a paper towel. This helps the marinade cling better.

For the marinade, mix all the spices, salt and crushed garlic in a bowl along with lemon juice, honey and olive oil. (the addition of honey doesn’t sweeten anything except balance the tartness and spiciness of the marinade). Give it a good mix until everything is well incorporated and toss in the chicken. Use tongs for even coverage of the mixture on the meat.

Cover and let rest in the fridge for a few hours before baking.

Pull it out of the refrigerator at least 10-15 minutes before baking time to let it come to room temperature, thus ensuring even baking.

Chop potatoes into bite sized cubes and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Cover baking tray with aluminium foil and place the potatoes and chicken drumsticks. Bake in a preheated oven at 200° for 30-35 minutes.

Halfway between baking time pull the chicken out of the oven and drizzle all the remaining marinade to coat or rather smother it, using tongs to flip the chicken on all sides to soak up the marinade.

Bake it for remaining time and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

NOTE: To know whether the chicken is done, insert a knife in the thickest part of the drumstick, and if the juices run clear then it’s cooked. If the juices are still red then you need to put it back into the oven.

Serve on a warm plate.

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Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Spicy eggy bread


DSC_0140When you get tired of your daily egg and bread breakfast and wish to twist it into a spectacular bronzed meal of cheesy topping, you make these babies; that in reality are nothing more than your daily fare of omelette and bread, all jeujed up into spicy fragments of burnished toasts. Not only do they take away from the mundanity of an everyday same ol’ breakfast but also kick it up a notch with flavours that feel just right for the most important meal of the day.

Also a good way to use up any leftover bread that you’ve been trying to ignore.

 

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The ingredients are not much and can easily be improvised to suit your taste buds. Just butter, oil, pepper, paprika, milk, eggs, spring onions, cheese and bread.

 

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chop spring onions as fine as possible, or not. Totally depends on your morning mood.

 

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Shove it into a bowl and crack a couple eggs on top.

 

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add in the milk

 

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a few shakes of paprika, and at this moment this bowl feels like it’s got a face.

 

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scrunch in some black pepper. Don’t be shy, smatter generously.

 

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and finally salt. Not a lot.

 

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mix everything until it’s pretty well mixed.

 

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get onto a bit of bread knifing. Now this step could totally be dispensed with if you’re using stale sandwich bread like one should, but somehow I had this stale piece of baguette that no one wanted to touch with a ten foot pole and thus had to use it up.. how it crumbles. Domesticity you see.

 

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Take some time to chop, shred, grate some cheese. Any cheese you fancy. I’m using Manchego cheese because there were a few slices knocking about in my fridge.

 

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soak pieces of bread into the spicy eggy mixture

 

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in the meanwhile heat some butter in a bit of oil.

 

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flip bread on the other side so it soaks up all the eggy richness evenly.

 

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once the butter begins to froth, place bread slices onto the foamy fat. Don’t let the skillet get too hot, or else you’ll burn this artistic piece of heavenly breakfast. Dot the tops with whatever onions are let languishing in the bottom of the bowl.

 

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Turn them over a dozen heartbeats later, totally depending on the heat. Try and keep the heat towards medium.

 

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and immediately stick cheese on these bread slices

 

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like so. Well, the hardest part is all done.

 

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reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet with a lid for about thirty seconds or so.

 

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Voila! it’s like magic. A moment ago there was lid and now there’s melting cheese and an easy most delicious breakfast on your table.


 

Ingredients

Eggs: 2

Milk: 1/4 cup

Spring onions: 1-2

Cheese: 2 tbsp

Bread: 2 slices

Pepper: 1/4 tsp

paprika: 1/4 tsp

salt to taste

Butter: 1 tbsp

oil: 1 tsp



Recipe instructions:  finely chop spring onions and into a bowl with eggs, milk, paprika, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Coat slices of bread with eggy mixture on both sides and cook in foaming butter+oil mixture over medium flame on a skillet.

Turn over after half a minute and sprinkle cheese on the cooked part. Turn gas to low and cover the skillet with a lid for another minute.

Your spicy eggy bread is done!

 

 

Coconut peanut noodles


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Coconut peanut noodles in a soup or rather soupy peanut noodles to be more precise. But what’s in a name, any noodle in this broth would taste as fabulous, which is the gorgeous alchemy of cooking. It’s really about how different ingredients marry each other to form something so deliciously splendid that you’re left licking the contents of the bowl to the last ceramic whiff.

There are Thai tones to this dish, what with the astringent uplifting bouquet of lemongrass that harmonizes ever so perfectly with the moody mellowness of coconut milk and peanut butter, it is strictly speaking not exactly Thai as globally Asian. It tends to borrow and makes something of its own and that’s really the beauty of home cooking.

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What’s really great about this noodle bowl is that it came into existence simply out of necessity to get rid of forgotten bits of vegetables and shrimps languishing about in the vegetable drawer and freezer. There are mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, spring onions, lemongrass, garlic, coconut milk, peanut butter, shrimps, dried red chillies (also the name of this blog), soy sauce and water. Phew. And really, you could omit or add anything to your liking. If I happened to have some other vegetables this lineup would look a bit different.

 

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also some noodles. Use whatever noodles you fancy. I’m using some sweet potato starch noodles.

 

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We begin rather ceremoniously with a bit of vegetable chopping.

 

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followed by lemongrass smashing, and this step is important because it starts releasing all the flavours that stay compacted in this stem of wonders.

 

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saute sliced green onions (mostly the white part) and garlic in oil.

 

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throw in the chillies

 

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once a wall of fragrance hits your face, throw in chopped mushrooms and keep sauteing

 

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and a bit of salt

 

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in the meanwhile start cooking your noodles in boiling water.

 

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throw in the smashed lemongrass and cook for about a minute

 

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after which we pour in some water. Let it come to a gentle simmer

 

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and add coconut milk.

 

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let the flavours mingle and come to a simmer

 

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add in peanut butter

 

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and soy sauce

 

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stir everything together and we are greeted with this gorgeous fawn coloured broth that smells of heaven. Cover and let it come to a bubble

 

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Like so

 

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Finally, add shrimps

 

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and vegetables. Cover and cook until it comes to a boil.

 

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Finally, turn off the heat and fish out whatever remains of lemongrass. It has done its job. By now your kitchen is exploding into aromatic pops.

 

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Place cooked noodles in a bowl and pour over the peanut coconut soup

 

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garnish with spring onion greens or coriander.

 

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and serve hot!


Ingredients

Noodles of your choice: 1 packet or 1 nest

Chopped vegetables: 60g (1 cup)

Assorted mushrooms: 150g (2 cups)

Shrimps (optional): 70g (1/2 cup)

Coconut milk: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Water: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Peanut butter : 2 heaped tbsps (1/4 cup)

Garlic: 2 cloves

Spring onions: 2-3

Dried red chillies (optional): 2-3

lemon grass: 1 stalk

soy sauce: 4 tbsps

Oil: 1 tbsp



Recipe instructions:

cook noodles and reserve cooked noodles into a bowl.

Chop vegetables, green onions and garlic into bite sized pieces.

Smash the lemongrass stalk to release its oils.

Heat oil in a wok and add white part of green onions and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add dried red chillies and saute for a few more seconds and add in the mushrooms, lemongrass and cook for a minute. Add in salt and water and let it come to a light simmer.

Add coconut milk and let it come to a slight simmer again, after which add in peanut butter and soya sauce. Stir to combine and make sure peanut butter doesn’t settle in a lump. Cover and let it bubble, finally adding in the shrimps and chopped vegetables. Cover  and let bubble again.

Once it’s come to a boil, turn off the gas and fish out lemongrass stalk.

Pour peanut coconut broth over cooked noodles. Garnish with greens of spring onion or coriander and  serve hot.

Tuna salad


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If you have any love for anything tuna; tuna salad, tuna sandwich, cats, then this recipe is for you, however if you do not favour tuna nearly as much, then stick around still for the visual appeal.

This isn’t a born again, recherché, renaissance time tuna salad recipe. Nothing fancy or fantastical to it, except that it’s quick, easy and exceedingly delicious for something that takes mere moments to come as one.

In fact so easy that I didn’t even click a list of ingredients, because I didn’t think it’d be featured on this blog, but the straightforward easiness of this recipe had me lunging for the nearest camera, and thusly it finds itself here.

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One does need a can of tuna for this. It kind of gives a rather cat food vibe but we know how magical this oddity tends to be. Just regular tuna packed in water not oil.

 

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2 eggs finely chopped.

 

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Into a bowl, finely chopped onion, celery and eggs.

 

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and contents of tuna can

 

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with some mayonnaise and good whole grain mustard, for the effects and flavour

 

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good squeeze of a sprightly lemon

 

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with a pinch of salt and a smattering of black pepper

 

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give it a good mix until everything is incorporated and here we have our no frill tuna salad, which is perfect as it is, but if you want to make a meal out of it then there are a lot of options to dabble with..

For example mix it with some cooked pasta or sandwich between bread,

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or spread generously on a toast

 

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beginning with a large leafy portion of lettuce.

 

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a layer of tomatoes

 

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blanketed with our tuna salad.

 

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taking which a little by further by gilding the lily. This is freshly grated parmesan

 

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sprinkled generously and baked at 200°C for 5-7 minutes

 

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Lunch as lunch should be.

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Ingredients 

1 Tuna can : 120 gms

Boiled eggs: 2

Onion: one small or half

Celery: 1 stick or 2 tbsps

Mayonnaise: 1 tbsp

Whole grain mustard: 2 tsp

Salt: to taste

Pepper: 1/2 tsp

lemon juice: 1/2 tsp

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To make into an open faced sandwich

toasted bread: 1 slice

lettuce leaves :2 in nos

Tomato sliced: 2-3

Parmesan: 2 tsps


Recipe instructions:  chop finely the onion, celery and boiled eggs. Mix together with tuna, mayonnaise, mustard,lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Tuna salad is ready to eat.

To make into an open tuna salad sandwich: Toast a slice or piece of bread. Layer with lettuce leaves, thinly sliced tomatoes. Spread the tuna salad mixture and finally top with parmesan cheese or cheese of your choice. Bake into an oven at 200°C for not more than 5-7 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and the salad is warmed through.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon cake


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Just the kind of laid back cake that packs a punch while dressed most plainly in a sponge batter.

The tartness of lemons balances ever so perfectly with the sweetness of cake that it’s difficult to understand whether its complementing your palette or squeezing in your cheeks.

Even better, it tastes more delicious the next day, if it survives, that is.

The summeriness of lemons does wonders to uplift your spirits and this cake works perfectly as a midday sweet snack filler or lazy dessert. It’s not easy to say ‘no’ to this bronze slab of sour sweet zing, and if you can resist it then you ARE heartless.

 

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there are two stages to this cake. one is the batter and the other is syrup and both idiotically easy.

 

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begin by creaming butter and sugar

 

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once they’re satisfactorily creamed, add vanilla extract

 

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and lemon zest

 

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and eggs

 

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also mix the leavening agents into the flour for an even mix.

 

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add flour to the mix

 

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mix well.

 

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it’ll be a thick thick batter, and a bit of milk will soften its consistency without thinning it.

 

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nice dropping consistency

 

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line a baking tin of choice with baking paper. Scrape the batter in and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean

 

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while the cake bakes we can get on with the syrup. It’s a simple syrup. With sugar and lemon juice.

 

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add sugar to a pot

 

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and the lemon juice

 

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and let it cook until the sugar begins to melt

 

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here the contents began boiling which meant the sugar was pretty much dissolved.Convey the pot to a cooler place and let it slowly cool. DO NOT be tempted to taste the boiling potion. You’ll come to regret it so.

 

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once the cake is baked and out of the oven, do not wait for it to cool down.

 

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start poking deep holes in it. Use a skewer or a toothpick.

 

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Drizzle lemon syrup all over, so that the top is sodden. Be brave. The cake won’t crumble under all that liquid. In fact it will absorb all the contents.

 

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The surface will be slick with the syrup. Let the cake continue cooling in its tin. If you try to pry it out at this stage it will tend to crumble and break apart.

 

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you might wonder why there’s a difference in picture of the said cake. I’d baked two cakes. The one baked in loaf tin was given away promptly and the one shown above was consumed by this blogger.

 

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Ingredients

For the cake

Butter: 120 g (3/4 cup)

Sugar: 170 g (1.5 cups)

Flour: 170g (1.5 cups)

Eggs: 2

Zest of 1 lemon

Milk: 4 tbsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Baking soda: 1/4 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

For the lemon syrup

Juice of 2 lemons

80g (3/4 cup) sugar


Recipe instructions: cream together butter and sugar, and add lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat them well. Add flour and leavening agents and fold all ingredients to form a batter. Add milk to thin the batter in spoonable consistency and bake in a well greased and paper lined baking tin at 180° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake bakes prepare the syrup. Heat gently the sugar and lemon juice until all sugar has dissolved.

Once the cake is baked and out of the oven, prick holes or puncture the top with a toothpick or cake testing skewer to form holes. Pour over the syrup and let the cake rest to absorb the syrup in its pan. Don’t take out the cake until it’s completely cooled.

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Cut into pieces and serve.

 

 

 

Wholewheat banana bread


dsc_0810Most beguiling, calling this a bread, when in essence, it actually is a cake. I guess it’s probably called a bread because it’s baked in a loaf tin. Ah, well.. ‘a rose by any other name’ and all that jazz. So indeed, this rather bashful, withdrawn looking cake/bread is exactly that. An air of polite modesty about its person, this cake doesn’t pretend to be a showstopper, or a stunner, gracing the high tables of a luxurious dinner party.

It’s in fact a quiet, simple and courteous nibble as opposed to the rich, opulent, cloying tastes of other thickly decadent cakes. This, in effect, is the anti thesis of sinful tastes, and bears such depth of resonant flavours that one slice or even two wouldn’t suffice. A perfect accompaniment for coffee, or as breakfast. This wholewheat banana cake  makes up in flavours, what it lacks in appearances, and isn’t that all that really matters?

Flecked with nuts, tinged with spices encasing a positively astounding banana soul. This wholewheat banana bread is moist with a nuttier wholewheat taste that totally trumps ones with made with regular flour..and if that wasn’t enough, it’s healthier too.

 

dsc_0770-copyThe ingredients are simple enough. mashed bananas, brown sugar, coconut oil, soy milk, eggs, wholewheat flour, vanilla, ground spices and nuts.

 

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mix baking soda and baking powder in with wholewheat flour. (these ingredients were not pictured)

 

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In a clean mixing bowl, add in the oil and brown sugar

 

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Mix briefly and crack in the eggs, and beat again, until the eggs are evenly combined.

 

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add vanilla

 

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mashed bananas and mix

 

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once the ingredients are well combined, tip in the flour. As you can see I’ve traded my whisk for a spatula, and mix very briefly.

 

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add in the ground spices

 

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followed by nuts, and combine well, without over mixing the batter.

 

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scrape into a well greased and floured tin of choice, or loaf tin if you wish to call this a bread.

 

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and bake at 170°C for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

dsc_0824and Voila!!

Note:  before baking I’d tasted the batter which didn’t taste as sweet as I’d have liked, so I added in two tablespoons of honey.


INGREDIENTS

Bananas: 2 large mashed (1 cup)

Coconut oil: 80 mls (1/3cup) (feel free to use any oil of choice, or even  melted butter)

Brown sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

Honey: 2 tablespoons

Milk: 60 mls ( use soy milk or any milk or even water)

Wholewheat flour:  160g (roughly 1.5 cup)

Eggs: 2

Chopped nuts: 80g (1/2 cup)

Vanilla extract: 2 tsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Baking soda: 1/2tsp

Spice mix: 

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp crushed pepper

1/4 tsp crushed cloves


RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the baking powder and baking soda into wholewheat flour.

In a clean mixing bowl beat together coconut oil, sugar, honey and eggs until evenly combined. Add in mashed bananas, vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and spice mixture and nuts and fold until just mixed.

Scrape into a baking tin and bake at 170°c for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let rest before unmoulding.

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Salmon fried rice


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This is just the kind of food you want to indulge in from keeping your waistline into an ever expanding universe. Healthy, nourishing, nutritious and all too tasty..how often do you even read all these adjectives in the same sentence?

Well my darlings, if you’re still on about healthy eating this year (why?), then this fantastic recipe is the one for you. Packed full on with flavours, yet strangely subtle. This bowl promises to comfort without making you fat. It’s sustenance and all too easy to scarf down in heaping abundance. No guilt, only pleasure. Your taste buds will thank you and your insides will give a content round of applause. It’s so easy and quick to put together that you’ll see yourself tottering in smug satisfaction as you lay this humble yet celestially righteous bowl of gratifying health for all to see and eat.

This does a superb double take as not only a solitary lunch but also as a quick meal for many.

 

DSC_0224 copyA bit many ingredients, but they’re not a whole lot.paprika, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice, chopped onions, ginger and garlic as the flavour base. Salmon, peas and spinach, hard boiled eggs and that’s really it. (psst. use any fish you have available)

 

DSC_0227dry roast the cumin and peppercorns, until they’re just fragrant

 

DSC_0230These need to be crushed along with other spices

 

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DSC_0232In with the salt and paprika

 

DSC_0233and you crush it within an inch of their existence, or until they’re nicely crushed

 

DSC_0235like so..

 

DSC_0236now for a gentle massage or rub..however you prefer

 

DSC_0238an now for a bit of tasteful dismemberment..or you can just cut in to chunks

 

DSC_0239In a pot of choice, heat some oil and add in the chopped onions

 

DSC_0241casually throw in the chopped ginger

 

DSC_0244followed closely by lemon zest

 

DSC_0245and in with the fish chunks. Cook for a few minutes, until the fish is more or less cooked.

 

DSC_0247Add in the chopped garlic and stir for a minute more.

 

DSC_0248Plonk in all the vegetables (peas and spinach) and stir for just another minute until the spinach wilts. (I’m using frozen peas, so it takes just a minute for them to cook. If you’re using fresh peas, you might want to add them a bit earlier or pre cook them)

 

DSC_0251now for the rice. I used a rice cooker and steamed the rice with a clove and black cardamom pod (totally optional)

 

DSC_0252In they go

 

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mix it well and add in the lemon juice. taste for seasoning, you might want to add in a touch more salt.

 

DSC_0269Embellish with eggs if you please. This recipe has real oomph and wow factor. It looks simple, and it is simple, but the flavours manage to hit all the right spots without jarring your senses.

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Ingredients

Salmon fillet: 170g

Onion: 1 medium sized. finely chopped

Ginger: 1 inch stem finely chopped

Garlic-2-3 cloves finely chopped

Paprika: 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds: 1 tsp

Black peppercorns: 1 tsp

lemon:1 (zest+juice)

salt: 1 tsp + more

Cooked rice: 150g-200g (about 1 cup)

Peas: 100g (1/2 cup)

Eggs (optional) : 1-2 (hardboiled or to your preferred doneness)

Spinach: big bunch (it wilts down to almost nothing when cooked. Use a lot if you really want to see it in your dish)

Salmon fillet or fish chunks: 150g

Oil to cook: 1 tbsp

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Recipe instructions: Dry roast the cumin seeds and black peppercorns for a minute or so and crush along with paprika and salt. Rub the salmon fillet on both sides with this dry mixture and cut into chunks.

In a large pot, heat some oil and add in the chopped onions and ginger. Cook for a few seconds until translucent and add in the lemon zest and stir fry for half a minute. Add in the fish and cook for a couple minutes until fish is almost done. Add in the garlic and stir together for a minute or so.

Add in the peas and spinach and cook for another minute, until the spinach is wilted and fish is completely cooked.

Add in the cooked rice and stir it all together, until all rice is well incorporated throughout the mixture and each grain is coated with flavour.

check for seasoning, add more salt if you prefer.

Finally squeeze in the lemon and briefly stir.

Serve hot, flecked with chunks of hard boiled eggs.

Enjoy!!

 

Salmon, baked potatoes & pea puree


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This might look like a chaotic blip of technicolour profusion, but I promise you it’s wholly edible, and not just edible, but lip smacking zen level scrumptious. Zen because it isn’t overloaded with fat or an orchestra of varied spices, and lip smacking because eating so many different colours will only infuse your insides with digestive rainbows, and since when did that become a bad thing?

If you’re still on the healthy eating bandwagon and haven’t budged yet from your new years resolution then as annoying as you might be, this is the perfect recipe for you. It’s fish, it’s potatoes and peas..just three simple instruments to serenade you into making a fantastical composition that looks good and tastes even better. You can make a solitary meal for one or fancy meal for many, either which way it’s just as easy and delicious.

 

DSC_0190 copyjust potatoes, peas (I use frozen), a clove of garlic, salmon fillet and olive oil.(salt and pepper not pictured)

 

DSC_0192let’s prep the potatoes first, since they will take the longest to bake. So peel ’em

 

DSC_0193halve them

 

DSC_0194half each half into half or quarter it as some might suggest

 

DSC_0195dice each quarter into equal pieces.

 

DSC_0197line on a baking sheet

 

DSC_0198drizzle oil

 

DSC_0201salt and peppa!

 

DSC_0202arrange and bake at 190°C for 30 minutes, or until they turn crisp and golden and gorgeous.

 

DSC_0203in the meanwhile as the potatoes bake, bring a pot of water to boil, and add a clove of garlic

 

DSC_0204followed by peas. I use frozen peas, but use whatever you have handy.

 

DSC_0205let ’em boil until the peas are fully cooked, not just tender but totally absolutely tender.

 

DSC_0206fish them out and puree them into a blender or food processor along with the now cooked garlic. Don’t make it into a soup, keep the nubbly texture..it should gloop off a spoon, not drip.

 

DSC_0207finally, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish. (I just have the salt one, but imagine there’s pepper in it too). Try and use a good salt if you can. I’m using Maldon salt.

 

DSC_0212cook on a very hot pan, about 3-4 minutes each side.

 

DSC_0213turn it over. Mine took about 3 minutes each side, but depending on the thickness of your fish you might have to decrease or increase the timings.

 

DSC_0214in the meantime let’s have a look at them potatoes.

 

DSC_0220plate it as you want. I like the pea puree to form the base for the fish to settle on and potatoes on the side. There isn’t much in terms of seasonings and flavourings, and that’s what makes this taste exactly how it should. The peas are sweet with the slightest hint of garlic, the salmon is light and flaky, just enough salt blending with peppery depth, and the potatoes work as a robust accompaniment to these delicate flavours. All in all, a great light meal for anytime of the day.

____________________________________________________

Ingredients

olive oil : 1-2 tbsp

garlic: 1 clove

potatoes: 2 medium

salmon fillet: 1 (150g)

peas: 150g (1 cup)

salt and pepper to taste

————————————

Cooking instructions:

peel and quarter your potatoes lengthwise. Cut each segment into equal parts. Line on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and paper, mix well and bake at 190°C for 30 minutes or until crisp and nicely browned.

In a pot of boiling water add garlic and peas and cook until they’re tender. Blend into a nubbly puree.

salt and pepper the salmon on both sides and cook on a very hot lightly oiled pan for about 3-4 minutes until bothe sides are nicely browned and the fish is cooked through.

Arrange on a plate with peas and potatoes and Enjoy!.

 

Venetian carrot cake


 

DSC_1379In case anyone was wondering about my exile and the painfully invisible void I’d left in the world of food blogs, then let me tell you, it was only temporary..and though I might not be back with a bang, I am back with a gluten free (gasp) venetian carrot cake, the credit for which as much as I’d like to take isn’t mine to take at all but Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s her recipe I’ve adapted to make this unbelievable sphere (albeit sort of flat) of damp richness.

This is a carrot cake and it’s unapologetically..umm carroty? and absolutely gluten free, which is to say it does not require any flour, and as hipster as it sounds, we can take some solace in that it’s not vegan..though I promise nothing. On days of rage, I’ve been known to torture myself with vegan food stuff. But that’s another story for another torture chamber, because right now let’s marvel in the blistering warmth of this buff coloured cake, which sings to your soul and pleases your senses with such luxurious notes, that you’re left wondering whether you should eat this cake or marry it.

DSC_1328 copy

So without further ado, we’ve the ingredients. Sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, almond meal, shredded carrots, pine nuts, lemon, lemon zest, raisins and rum (not pictured)

Just because a cake’s got almond meal which sometimes you don’t readily get at your grocery store, does not mean you put off baking this amber coloured love disc. You’ve only to blitz almonds to get almond meal you know. It’s rocket science, but you can get around to it.

DSC_1331before we get started, put the raisins in with the rum and bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 3 minutes, after which turn off your heat and let the raisins plump up and cool.

 

DSC_1333 into a bowl of choice, add olive oil and sugar

 

DSC_1335and beat it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable activity, I assure you.

 

DSC_1336beat until you’ve incorporated the sugar with the oil

 

DSC_1341mix in the eggs

 

DSC_1339followed closely by vanilla extract

 

DSC_1347and the zest

 

DSC_1348and lemon juice

 

DSC_1343mix well, until you’ve a summery ripple of golden ooze that speaks radiance in shiny ribbons.

 

DSC_1344tip in the now cooled swollen raisins along with any rum that’s it’s been standing in.

 

DSC_1349finally the almond meal

 

DSC_1350and the grated carrots

 

DSC_1354mix well, until everything’s incorporated and there’re no dry pockets.

 

DSC_1356scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin. This is a springform pan

DSC_1330prepared simply means you’ve oiled the sides and the bottom and stuck a wax/butter/parchment paper on the base and oiled it as well.

DSC_1357now, with the careless abandon of abundance, strew the top with pine nuts

 

DSC_1358liberally or not..entirely up to you and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good.

 

DSC_1360once done, let it cool before you devour..always a good practice.

 

DSC_1383and behold! the answer to dreary winter months, the saviour of one too many dinnerless nights..or just a sponge to wipe your tears, while you wallow in the dull ache of loneliness in your bed. A cake of such splendour and sumptuous depths that you’d kick yourself for sharing it. It’ll light you up on the inside, and how can it not?

_________________

Ingredients

 

  • carrots-2 medium  (about 200g)

  • pine nuts -3 tbsp
  • raisins-75g (1/2 cup)

  • rum- 60ml

  • sugar- 150g (3/4cup)

  • olive oil (regular)- 125ml (1/2 cup)

  • eggs-3
  • vanilla extract- 1 tsp

  • almond meal- 250g (2.5 cup)

  • lemon- 1/2 (zest and juice)

______________________________________________

Preparation

In a saucepan bring to a boil the rum and raisins and let simmer gently. Turn off the heat and let them stand and cool.  Grate the carrots and absorb any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.

Into a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well mixed. add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and the now cooled rum and raisins, and mix well. Finally fold in the almond meal and grated carrots.

Scrape into a prepared cake tin, and cover the top with pine nuts. Bake 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good. Let it rest for at lest ten minutes before removing it from its cake pan. Let it cool completely and enjoy

DSC_1370

 

 

 

Almost – fudge gateau


DSC_1109

 

 

In case you ever wondered what gateway to heaven was really made of, then please look no further. The gateway to heaven or even the stairway to one was/is most definitely made of this dense, moist disc of chocolate bliss. I’d love to say that this was something that came out of my kitchen in a moment of godlike inspiration, but sadly it isn’t. This is a recipe I adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book (baking, from my home to yours), and the moment I made it I knew this would be that moment of magical sin, when I’d plunge headlong into this shiny matt dome of chocolate and wish for no rescue.

The real reason I’d made this cake was because I was in a celebratory mode, as I’d just become a part of this fantastic website put together by a bunch of serious food lovers called Gastronazi.com and that I was doing metaphysical somersaults and driving myself into a food frenzy would be a serious understatement. This website is exactly what it sounds like, and puts not only well researched, well thought food related articles but also comes up with excellent how to videos and recipes that you always thought belonged in a pricey French kitchen. So do check put this website and know more about how to kick it up a notch or two in your home kitchen.

Coming back to this gateau, here’s all you need.

DSC_1062 copy

sugar, good quality dark chocolate, eggs separated, flour, butter and salt.

DSC_1064start with prepping your springform pan by buttering the sides and bottom

DSC_1066lining with a parchment paper

DSC_1067buttering that as well

DSC_1068sprinkle in some flour to coat the entire pan and shake off the excess

DSC_1070something like this

DSC_1072add the butter to your chocolate and melt either using a double boiler or nuking in the microwave

DSC_1074this is what you should end up with. stir it all together to form a chocolate pool, then dive in and forget the world, or just continue making the cake.

DSC_1076to this add sugar

DSC_1077stir well to mix as well as you can

DSC_1078add in the egg yolks, one at a time and stir until all’s well combined.

DSC_1080add in the flour and mix well

DSC_1081to make it look like this.

DSC_1082in a separate, very clean bowl we have to whip up the egg whites to form firm peaks, they should be glossy and not dry

DSC_1083so add a pinch of salt to the egg whites

DSC_1085and whip like a maniac, until they kinda look like this

DSC_1086now the part where you exercise caution. First fold in about a third of the egg white mixture into the batter, to lighten it a bit. I generally do this step by cut and fold method too. Very gently fold in the egg whites to form a part of the batter. I do this by scraping the bottom of the batter and bringing it to the top of the egg whites and keep repeating this step 4-5 times until the egg whites become a part of the batter.

DSC_1087once you’ve lightened the batter, fold in the rest of the egg whites using the same method.

DSC_1088and the batter should look something like this.

DSC_1089scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the sides just a bit to even the batter (I always use foil on my tray because my springform pan can be slightly dyslexic). Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes.  thin knife inserted will come slightly smeared with chocolate when its done.

DSC_1090the cake when done looks something like this. Let it rest for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. If you think the cake is sticking to the edges, just run a blunt knife around the edges and it will come out easily. The way we’ve buttered and floured the pan, it might be almost impossible to stick.

Let the cake cool completely before glazing it.

DSC_1092for the glaze we need heavy cream, dark chocolate and honey

DSC_1097start by heating the chocolate on low flame until it’s just nearly boiling but not boiling. Turn off the heat and add in the chocolate and let them sit without stirring for a couple of minutes.

DSC_1098after a few minutes, stir together to combine

DSC_1099add in the honey and stir again. Wait for a few minutes until it’s just cool because it has to be pourable, for you to do

DSC_1103this. Yes! slather that cake with that glaze baby..ooh yeah.

DSC_1116cut yourself a piece and watch yourself melt into a pool of luxurious indulgence

Ingredients

Eggs- 5 (separated)

bittersweet chocolate- 250g

sugar- 150g (1 cup)

butter- 70g (5 tbsp)

flour-50g (1/3cup)

salt- pinch

For the glaze

Dark chocolate-100g

heavy cream- 90 mls (about 1/2 cup)

Honey- 2 tsp

Baking instructions

Butter a sprinform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust with flour to ensure the pan is evenly coated on all sides and shake off the excess.

Melt the chocolate and butter and mix in sugar, then add in the egg yolks, one at a time and mix well. Add flour and mix to form a smooth batter.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whip to form firm peaks. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter and fold in to lighten, then gently fold the rest of the egg whites, cautiously. Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle a bit to even out. Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes. A thin knife inserted will come slightly smeared with chocolate when its done.

Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Once out of the pan and let it cool completely.

For the chocolate glaze: heat the cream to a point when it’s just about boiling, don’t let it come to a boil. Add in the chocolate to the saucepan and let it sit without stirring for a couple of minutes. Stir the mixture after a couple of minutes until smooth and add the honey and keep mixing until it’s shiny. Let it cool a bit before pouting over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting into the cake.

DSC_1108enjoy!