Saturday, 23 July 2016

White Fish Ceviche

Ceviche is a dish of cured seafood in citrus juices. There are many varieties in Middle and South America, with everyone's version slightly differently spiced and varying ingredients used. I love them all, but this is my favorite mix. 

200g very fresh white fish (such as cod, sea bass or lemon sole), diced into 1 cm cubes
Juice of 1 lime, 1 lemon and 1orange
1 shallot, finely diced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, finely diced
1tsp sea salt
A few coriander leaves for garnish

Simply mix the curing marinade together and pour over the fish. Leave to sit in the fridge for 2 -3 hours. Then serve with tortilla chips or plantain chips. To make it a more complete dish, Avocado and sweet potato also makes a nice accompaniment. 
Bon apetit!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Quick Protein Bread

This bread is based on eggs and quark (a zero fat dairy product) the added ingredients are kinda up to you. Seeds and kibbled nuts, cracked wheat, wheat germ, almond flour, linseed, chia and all things that are good for you can go in. A little bit of bread flour will help bind it all together. 

300g Quark
5 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp sea salt
3 tbs strong bread wholemeal flour
2 tbs weatgerm
200g of your selection of nutty and seedy goodies, coarsly ground

Preheat the oven to 160C. Mix together the eggs, quark and baking powder before mixing all the other ingredients into the batter. It will end up like a cake mix texture rather then a dough. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and pour in the mix. Sprinkle seeds on top of you like. Bake for 90 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before turning out to cool down. Eats well with lovely homemade spreads. I made Sundried Tomato Butter and a Herb and onion Quark spread.
To store it, place in a bag and keep in the fridge. (Warm it up in the toaster)
You will be surprised how delicious this bread is. And full of goodness!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Sichuan Beef Noodles

500g diced shin of beef
12 small shallots, peeled, left whole 
100ml shao shin rice wine
2 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tsp rock sugar
1 cassia bark stick
2 star anise
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
5 Sichuan peppercorns
3 -5 dried long red chillies
1 tbs Chinese chilli bean paste
500ml water
Fresh noodles
Spring onion, sliced at an angle
Extra chopped fresh chillies

Fry the shallots until nicely coloured, add to a sturdy slow cooking pot. Fry the diced beef in the same pan until nicely coloured, too. Add to the pot. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork tender. 
Heat the noodles over steam or microwave quickly just to warm them up. Place into a bowl and sprinkle over some beansprouts. Ladle over the beef and broth and garnish with spring onion and extra chillies. 
Enjoy this warming, unctuous hug in a bowl. Be happy!

Friday, 22 April 2016

No Name Chicken

If you've ever been to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao in Thailand, you may have come across these delicious deep fried snacks. The recipe appears to be a bit of a secret, but I have finally managed to uncover it.
I am tempted to keep it a secret, just for the fun of it, but hey. It isn't really that difficult to figure out. 

Ingredients: (makes about 18 No Names)

150g tempura batter mix (you can make your own of course)
1 egg
150ml sparkling water
A selection of vegetables, peanuts and chicken all diced up quite small.
I used onion, bok choy, peppers and soy beans. But any soft vegetables are good.
Use as much as it takes to fill the batter with goodies. 

Heat oil for deep frying in a suitable pan. Drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil, to see if it starts frying. Once it does drop spoonfuls carefully into the oil. Don't overcrowd the pan. The fritters will fry away happily and turn them self around as they cook, if they have enough room to move. However you can give them a little hand if they don't. 
Once they have an appetising golden brown colour they are ready to be fished out with a slotted spoon and placed on kitchen roll to drain any excess oil.
They must be served with sweet chilli sauce. 
Careful! Leave them to cool a little before you take your fist desperate bite ;)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cod & Clams

This dish is very loosely inspired by Bacalao en salsa verde. It is more light and fresh and almost like Moules Mariniere. I think it's very delicious and I want to share it with you. 

1 piece of fresh cod filet about 350g
500g frozen or fresh small clams
1 small bunch of parsley
1mug of frozen peas
5 garlic cloves, sliced
100ml white wine
50ml olive oil
1tbs Plain flour 
Salt and pepper

Add the flour with a good seasoning of salt and pepper to a bowl. Cut the cod into 1inch chunks and toss it in the flour until coated all over. 
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the cod prices carefully for a couple of minutes. Turn them once (carefully not to break them) then fry for another 2 minutes. 
Now take the pan of the heat and take the cod out and place on a plate, waiting to join the pan again later.
Now add the garlic to the oil in the pan. Heat until it sizzles but don't let it brown. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Now add the peas and bring back to a simmer. Next add the parsley and let it come back to a simmer.
Then the clams can go in. They will literally open instantly. Once open, add the cod back in and cover with a lid to let the heat and flavour mingle for just a couple of minutes. 

As soon as everything is nice and hot, ladle into warm bowls and serve with some crusty bread to soak up all the wonderful juices. 

Bon Apetit! Enjoy this one!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Mentaiko pasta (Spicy Cod Roe)

Mentaiko is a Japanese spicy cod roe. Obviously not easily available in other countries, but that's not going to deter me! In Britain's supermarkets cod roe can be found in perfectly sized 200g tins. Great for making Taramasalata, but today I'm using it for a little Italian- Japanese fusion. This pasta is creamy and spicy and mildly seafoody. It's one of those dishes where the pasta shines through, so using a good quality brand does make a difference. 

Ingredients: serves 2

1 200g tin Cod Roe
200g dry linguine or spaghetti
A big glug of mild olive oil
1minced garlic clove
1tbs minced chilli
1/2 a lemons juice
a few sprinkles of mustard cress
Nori leaf snipped into strips for garnish

Cook the pasta following packet instruction.
Into a big bowl add the cod roe, garlic, lemon juice, chilli, cress and olive oil. Stir together and that's the sauce made.
When the pasta is perfectly cooked add it straight to the sauce in the bowl. Stir everything together and adjust the sauciness with some of the pasta water.
Serve straight away in warm bowl and garnish with the nori strips. 

Eat! Slurp! Oiishi!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Sayur Lodeh, Spicy Vegetable Curry

This is my version of a beautiful Southeast Asian vegetable curry. I'm calling it Sayor Lodeh, after the Malaysian Curry from which I have been inspired, but it is not an authentic recipe. It is also not strictly vegetarian, but if you want it to be, then the non veg ingredients can easily be substituted.
The most important part of this dish is the cabbage. You will be surprised how wonderfully sweet it becomes in the spicy curry, and the texture is just lovely, soft and springy. 
My version is very spicy, but that's important. A vegetable curry can easily become bland and boring in my opinion. So the fruity spiciness makes it really interesting and will leave you craving for more.

These go together into a blender:
1 mug of coconut cream
1 mug of chicken stock
1 tbs Thai yellow curry paste
1 tsp chilli sambal
A few shakes of Thai fish sauce
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
1 tbs palm sugar 
1 tsp shrimp paste
About 7 macadamia nuts

Whizz this lot into a smooth soup. Sometimes the macadamia nuts don't blend completely, but that makes it a nice surprise when you come across one in the finished dish.
Pour this into a large pot and add your choice of vegetables.
I sometimes add some fried tofu and sometimes prawns or even some chicken, but the main ingredients are the vegetables and more importantly the cabbage.
I'm going to give a few examples of vegetables that I would include. The more variety the merrier!

White Cabbage
Butternut squash
Green beans
Mange tout
Sugar snap peas
Pea aubergine 
Baby sweetcorn
Butter beans
And the list could go on, but that's my favourites.

Cut the vegetables into suitable chunks. Add the ones that need longer cooking first, then follow with the delicate ones towards the end of cooking. Simply bring the curry to a simmer and cook with a lid on for about 20 minutes.
The result should be a fairly soupy curry with hearty and spicy depth of flavour. It eats well with just steamed rice, but I also like to ladle it over noodles for a lovely curry noodle soup.

Eat, be happy and Bon Apetit!

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