23/01/2013 § 2 Comments
I have always had trouble with shortbread. Although it has very few ingredients, I always over mix the dough, or it is too dry, or too wet, or the texture isn’t right. After looking all over the internet for far too long, I found a recipe that created the nicest shortbread I have had in a long time!
“What can make the most amazing shortbread even better?!” I hear you cry. « Read the rest of this entry »
19/01/2013 § Leave a comment
The doom and gloom of winter is creeping up on me. It is cold outside, dark when I get to work and dark when I leave. There is snow everywhere, which in turn changes to ice, and I don’t like ice! So I thought what better way to take my mind off things, than to make one of my favourite meals to have whenever I go abroad. French style mussels!
To be honest, this is the first time I have used natural mussels (not the farmed ones). These little beauties have a beard that you have to remove which does take a while, but the flavour of these things is incredible and fresh. Try to get these whenever you are cooking mussels. Anyway, let me give you guys the recipe.
- 1kg live mussels (preferably de l’océan)
- 25g butter
- 100ml dry white wine
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 shallot
- handful rough chopped parsley
- First things first, you need to clean the mussels. Empty the bag into a bowl, run each mussel under a cold tap and remove the beard. This is the small collection of hairs usually on one side of the mussel, remove it with a side to side motion, carefully does it! If any of the mussels are open, run them under the cold tap for a few seconds and put them on the side, if they close they are good to eat, any that do not close, through them away!
- After the long task of cleaning and de bearding the mussels, chop the shallot and garlic into fine slices and gently cook for 4 minutes in the butter.
- When they become slightly transparent, turn the heat up, add the mussels and the white wine and cover. Steam for 3-8 minutes, until they have opened. Any that have not opened, do not eat them! Whilst they steam, why not pour yourself a glass of wine? Well, it is a french dish right!
- Serve in a nice big bowl and top with the chopped parsley and dig in, remember the extra bowl for the shells.
Perfect on their own with some crusty bread. I added spring onion and a little chili to mine, what did you add? Would be great to hear from you in the comments below! au revoir
14/01/2013 § Leave a comment
‘Empty fridge’, I thought to myself. I was hungry, cold, tired and to top it off I had ‘no food’ in the house. I sat down and contemplated braving the cold weather to go and get some food or waiting it out until I HAD to leave the house to go to work, and grabbing something on the way, ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and all that. I tried to wait it out seeing as the weather wasn’t exactly appealing but I couldn’t enjoy my time relaxing whilst I was hungry now could I?
I looked through my fridge once more and to my delight, found a pack of chicken thigh fillets. Lovely, it was a start I guess. I decided to start browning these off and to see where my mind took me. Adding a few onions, some paprika, cayenne pepper, a little chicken stock, I was onto something good here! The final dish was a beautiful and rich tomato and chicken curry affair, which I happily munched down with a few flat breads, homemade of course!
- 6 chicken thigh fillets (cut into bite size pieces)
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 500ml chicken stock
- 330ml chopped tomatoes (around a tin)
- 100ml Crème fraîche
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves
- half a teaspoon cayenne pepper
- handful of chopped coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- First off in a large pan, brown the chicken pieces until slightly browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the onions and garlic until soft, around 5 minutes should do.
- Add the spices, ginger and season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring so the spices don’t burn.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add the warm chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes add the Crème fraîche and continue to cook for another 15 minutes on a low heat.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle chopped coriander on top and enjoy, even better with some cardamom flat breads! *https://everythingfoody.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cardamom/
10/01/2013 § Leave a comment
I first came across this recipe whilst watching ‘Gordon Ramsey Ultimate Cookery Course‘. The moment I saw it I HAD to try it. I love food like this, bright, spicy, sweet, crunchy, salty. Everything I want in food, this has it! It looks beautiful too, brilliant for sharing with the family at dinner, or for snacks at a party. I am sure these will go down great anywhere you serve them. Truly yummy, you have to try these!
Ingredients: (fills 8 gem leaves)
- 250g beef mince
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 red chili finely chopped
- 2 spring onions sliced thin on an angle
- thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 baby gem lettuce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- half a red chili, finely chopped
- handful chopped coriander
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Adjust these to your taste, add a little more lime juice or use less chili, whatever you want.
- Fry the mince in olive oil until super crispy. You need to take these mince further than any mince you have cooked before. Dark brown individual pieces is what you are aiming for. Around 5 minutes in a hot pan should do it. Once done, set aside in a sieve to drain, this keeps them crispy.
- Add the chopped garlic, ginger and red chili to the same pan and cook out for 2 minutes, after that add the lime zest and juice, along with the fish sauce and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the mince back to the pan and mix well for 30 seconds.
- To finish, add the sliced spring onion and just heat through, you want the crunch to still be there. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cut the end off the baby gem and gently pull the leaves off. You will need around 8 leaves. Arrange the leaves on a platter or board and fill with the crispy mince mixture.
- For the final touch, mix all the dressing ingredients together, adjusting to your taste, just make sure you get hints of everything you have put in there. There you have it, one of my favourite meals of all time without a shadow of a doubt, you need this recipe in your life!
09/01/2013 § Leave a comment
January, the month of detox for me. After spending Christmas stuffing my face with chocolates and too much cider glazed ham, it is time to start riding the Christmas pounds. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring, this recipe combines all the deep flavours of autumn and winter with a little spicy twist to wake you up during the gloom!
Wild mushrooms have a rich earthy taste to them and whilst they are very cheap, they have an almost meaty taste to them, which will easily satisfy a carnivore any day! This recipe has no cream in so you can treat yourself to a good portion on a cold winter day. So… let’s get started.
- 500g wild mushrooms, chopped into quarters (I used a mixture of oyster, shatiki and forestiere, but use your favourites)
- 75g butter
- 80g shallots (about 1 and a half echalion shallots)
- 500ml water
- 250ml chicken stock (replace with water if veggie)
- handful chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- In a large frying pan or stock pot, fry your shallots with 25g butter until slightly blonde.
- After shallots have browned, add 400g of your chopped mushrooms and fry until they slightly blonde too. Make sure to have a high heat so they don’t stew, as they will go rubbery.
- When the mushrooms are browned slightly, add the lemon thyme, hot water and hot chicken stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Now add the mixture to a liquidiser and blitz until smooth (use a hand blender if you want), after it has been blitzed return to the pan and keep warm.
- Fry the remaining mushrooms and hazelnuts in a frying pan along with the paprika, this will give them a beautiful orange colour.
- Place the soup in a bowl and top with the sautéed mushrooms and hazelnuts.
It is as easy and tasty as that! As always, would be great to hear from you, what mushrooms did you use?