Tuesday, 19 October 2021

RED VELVET & WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK BROWNIES


I always like to bring a baked kind of present along when it comes to a good pal's birthday and knowing that my friend Henry was hosting a birthday / housewarming party and was a big fan of all things red velvet cake meant I simple HAD to make these red velvet brownies with white choc chunks! 

A super easy bake that won't take hours or leave you with a total kitchen mess and an impressive homemade, edible gift to bring a long for your nearest and dearest!

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk* discard the egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 200g roughly chopped white chocolate, I like proper choc chunk (reserving 50g to melt as topping)
METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and position the oven rack in the middle of your oven.
  • Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) metal baking pan with parchment paper, or line with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
  • Add the butter to a large bowl and microwave for 45-second intervals until melted. 
  • Whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder. 
  • Whisk vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  • Whisk in the egg, extra egg yolk, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  • Carefully fold in the flour and salt using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Whisk in the vinegar. 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few damp crumbs. 
  • Cool the brownies in the pan for at least 4 hours, or until completely cooled before slicing. 
  • For the topping melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave in short intervals (making sure not to burn it).
  • Once fully melted carefully drizzle over the brownies and allow time to set.
  • To slice, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the parchment paper/aluminum foil. 
  • Then cut with a sharp knife of a cutting board AND ENJOY!

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

PARADISE NOW - DÜSSSELDORF


YAY! Finally a restaurant review again!

I am not going to lie, moving into my own place has in consequence meant considerably less budget to blow on snazzy meals out and lockdown additionally made me realise that I can cook pretty much anything, even if intricate, at home.

Of course a true restaurant experience is only in part about the food and my dinner at Paradise Now reiterated that. 

A great restaurant experience indeed is about the setting, the staff, the hype, the fellow diners, the fact you don’t have to clean up and the memory you create, a kind of memory that you won’t get in your own 4 walls.

The Paradise Now is as hyped as you can get as newly opened restaurant, especially when it is probably the coolest dining spot that has opened in Dusseldorf in, like, ever, and of course was on top of my list of places to visit on a recent weekend getaway to the motherland, a proper "treat yourself kind of weekend with the Mama involving all the food and wine and good times" which HAD TO include a dinner here.

First things first, The Paradise Now is SO 2021that it has neither a website or an online booking system, instead you get a very slick looking instagram which perfectly conveys the tightly conceptualised restaurant (you can see that a co-owner of the restaurant is a renown creative director) and a number to WhatsApp to try and book one of the coveted tables.

The restaurant is split into a main restaurant, a no bookings bistro and soon to open club, and if you are after a main restaurant table you either have to book literally a month in advance (I confidently attempted two weeks before our desired Friday night and failed) or know someone that knows someone…alas we decided to chance getting a table at the bistro by getting there early on a Friday evening around 6pm and after a quick look over by their doorman, managed to snag a table in the impressive bistro space.

Ok, some people will hate having to endure a Berghain style doorman to enter a restaurant but hey if it keeps the wrong kinda people out I am there for it, even if it is unusual.

But even if one is critical of their door policies, once inside it’s hard not to be wowed by the concept and interior design of The Paradise Now.

It’s 70’s LA cool crossed with Studio 54 glamour with a touch of hippie commune vibes thrown in but without an ounce gimmick. 

It’s almost like you’ve stepped into a completely different, very cool world, once you've made your way down a neon lit staircase and you will spend the evening fascinated by every detail of the dining experience, from the waiters clad in long white flowing gowns, to the disco and funk soundtrack on repeat, to the Pinterest worthy illustrations on the menu.

This is not to say everything about The Paradise Now was perfect. You could tell the kitchen and service were yet to become a well oiled machine. Our waitress was on her trial shift and while trying hard didn’t have much of a clue when it came to the menu and seemed pretty startled. 

Service was at times slow and us not sitting in the main restaurant meant we seemed second rate diners but as much as I hated some of the pretentiousness and slow service it didn’t outweigh the uniqueness of the space.

The food again showed signs of promise but tweaking was needed, portions were tiny, flavours were great. 4 pieces of seared tuna for 19 euros is never going to impress me, even if presented beautifully, a sort of overpricing you won’t even get away with in the most poncy West London restaurant. 

However a pumpkin risotto main with burrata and a starter of malfatti with nut butter were delicious, refined and decent in price.

But then again you don’t JUST go to The Paradise Now for the food - you go for the entire experience, from getting a table to leaving behind reality for a few hours. I can’t even imagine how cool the club is going to be once open.

In a way I hate how much I loved Paradise Now, in spite of of the many things I actual didn’t like, me and my mum have not stopped chatting about the place ever since paying the bill. 

As I said eating out can have a real magic about it and despite its flaws Paradise Now is bursting with just that magic.

I may as well get my table booked in now for my return in December because I will sure be back and if my dream 30th birthday weekend away with my nearest and dearest from London materialises (Corona please don't ruin this) I couldn't think of a better spot to ring in the new decade!

Thursday, 7 October 2021

VEGGIE SWEDISH "MEATBALLS" WITH POTATO MASH AND CRANBERRY SAUCE


On my continuous quest to make veggie friendly versions of classic carnivore dishes, I was more than intrigued by these meatless "Swedish meatballs", served of course with mash and a sweet fruit jam.

A total comfort food dinner in its traditional form, I wasn't sure how the veggie balls, made from bulgur wheat, chickpeas, shiitake mushrooms, breadcrumbs, egg and lots of seasoning would compare, but honestly they had pretty convincing texture and were full of earthy flavours thanks to the mushrooms. 

They were even better when topped with a super easy yet delicious creamy stock sauce which really made it not only look but taste like the real thing!

I also whipped up a quick mashed potato and then plated the whole thing up with a sweet topping of cranberry jam - in Sweden lingonberry jam is used but cranberry does pretty much the same job, and even though the mix of the creamy, rich sauce, mash, balls and jam sounds odd it works SO WELL, trust me on this one.

I absolutely adored this dinner and at no point was I thinking that I was eating an inferior version of the real deal, indeed I think even a committed meat eater would be won over by this dinner.

A dinner perfect for colder autumn nights and one that will evoke memories of IKEA trips with no animals harmed!

Serves 2-3

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE MEATBALLS
  • 75g (½ cup) dry bulgur wheat (cooked and cooled, excess water removed)
  • 125 g (4.5 oz.) shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 (400 g/15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 50 g (⅓ cup) breadcrumbs
  • 60ml (¼ cup) sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


FOR THE SAUCE
  • 30 g (2tablespoon) unsalted butter 
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 350 ml (1 ½ cup) vegetable stock 
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

SERVE WITH
  • Buttery potato mash
  • Lingonberry or cranberry jam / sauce 

METHOD

MAKE THE "MEATBALLS"
  • Heat the oven to 190C
  • In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until finely chopped, but not pureed. 
  • Remove them from the food processor into a large bowl. 
  • Do the same with the chickpeas.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl over the mushrooms and chickpeas and mix well with a spatula until blended. 
  • Form into meatballs, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. 
  • You can spray them with a bit of oil if you want and turn them halfway so they bake evenly.

MAKE THE SAUCE
  • Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the flour when it's melted. 
  • Whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes until it thickens and starts to change color.
  • Add the vegetable stock, and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. 
  • Add more stock if you want the gravy thinner.
  • When the sauce reaches the desired consistency, add the sour cream, Dijon mustard and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and make sure they are coated by gently spooning the gravy over them. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes and topped with the berry jam of your choice!

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

THE MOST AMAZING VEGETARIAN MOUSSAKA

After a week of pretty intense fashion show induced exhaustion I was more than excited for a Friday night at home - just me, myself and I PLUS a delicious, healthy and wholesome meal to send me in a much needed food coma and bed by 9pm!

Indeed there is nothing more therapeutic to me than a dinner that takes a little bit of labour, chopping and cooking away to make whilst I enjoy a good glass of wine. A good dinner can take a few hours and when you have the time there is nothing better! 

I love to cook with aubergine anyways (I still drool over the outstanding aubergine parmigiana I made at some point during lockdown) and had always been intrigued to find a veggie friendly alternative to the classic Greek Moussaka.

A disclaimer to start with: authentic moussaka is made with lamb mince and a heavy béchamel sauce on top, so my version, made with a fragrant chickpea, lentil and mushroom tomato sauce, layers of pan fried aubergine and a lighter yogurt, nutmeg and parmesan topping, will not please a Greek cuisine purist but it is a bloody tasty twist on the dish and the sort of comfort food I was in such dire need of. 

A healthy yet satisfying dinner for 2, especially for those darker autumn days.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 80g green lentils
  • 200g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
TOPPING 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra parmesan and a little dried oregano to sprinkle on top

METHOD 
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Slice the aubergine into rounds approximately 0.5cm wide and layer in a colander with salt for 30 mins, then rinse and pat dry.
  • Bring the lentils in the vegetable stock along with the bay leaf to the boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes and then drain them.
  • Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of the olive oil for 5 minutes.
  • Add the drained lentils, mushrooms, chickpeas, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, thyme and water – bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Season the veggie mix with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Fry the aubergine slilces in the remaining tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes, flipping after 3 minutes.
  • In an oven proof dish layer the aubergine slices with the vegetable mixture.
  • Make the creamy topping by beating together the egg, parmesan cheese, yogur and nutmeg. Season to taste.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese and a lilttle oregano.
  • Spoon the creamy topping over the moussaka and pop the dish into the oven for 45 minutes or until golden on top.
  • AND ENJOY!

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

SPICY PASTA ALLA VODKA WITH BURRATA



Midway through a weekend of full on London Fashion week life, which is far less glamorous and much more stressful and draining than it sounds if you are working production side, I was very exhausted and also very desperately in need of a home-cooked, comforting dinner with a kick.

Indeed the minute I came across this recipe for spicy pasta alla vodka I knew I had found what was going to hit the spot!! The vodka of course, gets cooked off and looses the alcohol content yet in its remaining flavour somehow really elevates the tomato and coconut milk sauce into something quite spectacular, not exactly sure how but I am here for it.

It was also a dinner simple enough to make in an almost zombie like state but tasted pretty damn amazing and better than any stodgy takeaway would have made me feel, plus if you had an even rougher day than I was having you will also end up with some leftover vodka!

A pasta supper that is far from boring and will pick you up after even the longest of days, I promise!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 3/4 cup basil pesto (bought because I DEFINITELY didn't have time for that)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 450g tagliatelle
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
  • 1 burrata ball
METHOD
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. 
  • When the oil shimmers, add the shallot, garlic, and oregano. 
  • Cook until the shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. 
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato puree and chilli flakes, cook 4-5 minutes, until thickened. 
  • Stir in the vodka, cook another 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in the pesto and cream. 
  • Season with salt. 
  • Keep warm over low heat. 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. 
  • Just before draining, remove 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water. 
  • Drain.
  • To the vodka sauce, add the pasta, 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, and the butter, tossing until the butter has melted. 
  • Add the parmesan and basil. 
  • If needed, thin the sauce with additional pasta cooking water.
  • Divide the pasta among plates and top with basil and torn burrata.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

CREAMY TOMATO, PRAWN & SALMON CURRY


Another case of total food for the soul in a bowl (and who doesn't need that after the miserable rainy day we had yesterday)!

This easy one pot dinner combines lots of veg, a wonderfully fragrant broth, fresh seafood and plenty of spices to make a super healthy yet satisfying dinner that doesn't need any rice on the side to make it filling thanks to the addition of sweet potato.

A new favourite.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large red onions, finely sliced
  • 4cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 8 large vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 16 fresh leaves 
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g long sprouting broccoli, end snapped off
  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 limey
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 250g raw king prawns
  • 2 salmon fillets, skinned and cut into chunks

METHOD
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. 
  • Add the onion, season and cook for 10 minutes until softened.
  • Whizz the ginger, garlic and chilli in a small blender until finely chopped. 
  • Add to the onion with the ground spices. 
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, bring to the boil and simmer for 6-7 minutes. 
  • Pour in the coconut milk and lime juice, then bubble over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and broccoli and boil for 5-6 mins or until the sweet potato chunks have cooked through , then add in the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the spinach to the rest of the sauce. 
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes until wilted, stirring constantly. 
  • Add the prawns and salmon and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the prawns are pink. 
  • AND SERVE!

Thursday, 9 September 2021

MY IDIOT PROOF (AND ALWAYS DELICIOUS) ROAST VEG WITH TAHINI SAUCE & POMEGRANATE


This is not so much a recipe but rather my go to dinner when I feel hungover, run down or just generally in need of a super nutritious, healthy and delicious dinner!

Even better you literally only need a tray, a bowl and a bit of chopping to make it in order to end up with a plate FULL of vitamins that is FAR from boring or tasteless! 

Heck the 4 ingredient tahini, lemon & honey dressing and pomegranate seed topping make these roasted vegetables pretty fancy with minimal cooking involved!

Tailor the veg you roast to your taste - I go for a mix of everything I like but it also depends what mood I am in and what is in season, there is no"wrong" veg to add to the tray,  and allow plenty of time for the veg and oven to do their thing! There is literally nothing worse than barely cooked or soggy veg, a little bit of a char is indeed encouraged!

I eat this several times a month and NEVER get bored of it. So simple, so good and literally food for the soul.


INGREDIENTS

THE VEG!

Really this is where you do you, these are just my favourites. If you include sweet potato and squash I would recommend whacking them in the microwave for 4 minutes so they precook a little and won't end up raw when the other veg is lovely and roasted

  • Red onions, quartered
  • Sweet potato, diced
  • Butternut squash, diced
  • Aspargus
  • Cooked beetroot, quartered
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Sprouting Broccoli
  • Carrots (kept whole)
THE TOPPING
  • Pomegranate seeds
THE SAUCE
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced 
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • Salt
  • Lukewarm water (to thin)

METHOD
  • Pre-heat your oven to 200c.
  • Place your prepped veg on a baking tray and toss everything in olive oil.
  • Season with salt.
  • Roast for a good 45-50mins (check once in a while and give the veg a toss so it cooks evenly).
  • Meanwhile prepare the tahini sauce.
  • To a medium mixing bowl, add tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup and season with salt.
  • Whisk to combine. 
  • Slowly add water until creamy and pourable. 
  • The mixture may seize up and thicken at first, but continue adding water a little at a time and whisking until creamy and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • When the veg is lovely and roasted top with the pomegranate seeds and drizzle over the tahini sauce
  • ENOY!

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

OTTOLENGHI'S PASTA WITH PRAWNS, TOMATO & MARINATED FETA


This super flavourful pasta is literally THE perfect dinner for this September heatwave PLUS it's quick and easy enough to rustle up for an impressive week night supper! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g feta, broken into 1–2cm pieces
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes4 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 350g orzo or another small, thin pasta shape (I used this one from Waitrose)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 strips finely shaved orange skin
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 400g raw shell-off prawns
  • 30g basil leaves, roughly shredded
  • Salt and black pepper

METHOD
  • In a medium bowl, mix the feta with ¼ teaspoon of the chilli flakes, 2 teaspoons of the fennel seeds and 1 tablespoon of the oil. 
  • Set aside while you cook the pasta
  • Place a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, on a medium high heat. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil, orzo, ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. 
  • Fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the same heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes and 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds, the garlic and the orange skin. 
  • Fry for 1 minute, until the garlic starts to lightly brown, then add the tomatoes, stock, 200ml of water, ¾ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. 
  • Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until boiling, then stir in the fried pasta. 
  • Cover, then lower the heat to medium low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout so the pasta is cooked. 
  • Remove the lid and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, until the consistency is like a risotto. 
  • Stir in the prawns for 2–3 minutes until they are pink and cooked. 
  • Stir in the basil and serve at once, with the marinated feta sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

SWEET & SAVOURY CRISPY SWEDISH WAFFLES


My wonderful friend Maria came around last Friday and suggested not only bringing her absolutely adorable (and leash trained) cat Miso but also her waffle maker! 

Now, I LOVE committing to a dinner theme so was totally on board with rustling up some crispy Swedish waffles for dinner -  a savoury main, followed by, of course, a sweet waffle dish as dessert! 

Swedish waffles are eggless which makes them a lot crispier, thinner and lighter than your Belgian waffle and also a lot more versatile when it comes to toppings, we used the same batter for both savoury and sweet versions and it worked a treat!

Of course you can totally go for any topping you fancy. I cooked up a super quick seasonal cherry sauce because I adore fresh cherries and the warm sauce went so well with cold freshly whipped and vanilla flavoured cream. 

For your savoury topppings again the world is your oyster. We went very Scandi with gravadlax, a dill and lemon mascarpone cream and fish roe but you could also do a fab veggie version with pan fried mushrooms and truffle creme fraiche!

What made this dinner even better was that the end result was not only tasty but that the process of making it was pretty fun too! 

So invest in a waffle maker or find a fabulous friend like Maria who will bring one along for the most perfect Friday night supper!

These waffles are best if make them as you need them, otherwise they lose their lovely crispiness. And don't stack them – simply make and serve straight away. If you absolutely need to wait, place them in a single layer on a wire-rack (at your own crispness-losing risk).

WAFFLES

INGREDIENTS
  • 100 g butter melted
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (optional and you can get it my go to for Scandi ingredients The Scandinavian Kitchen
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml water

METHOD
  • Turn on the waffle iron to heat up.
  • Mix all the ingredients together to a smooth batter.
  • Brush the waffle iron with a little bit of butter then add a ladle full of batter. 
  • Leave to cook until golden brown and crispy, remove and serve immediately.


TOPPINGS…...

SAVOURY!


DILL & LEMON MASCARPONE

INGREDIENTS
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
METHOD
  • Mix the mascarpone, dill, 1 tsp. lemon zest, and 2 tsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice or zest to taste.
  • Chill until your waffles are ready.


SWEET!


EASY CHERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups fresh pitted cherries 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
METHOD
  • In a medium saucepan (off the heat), add the water.
  • Whisk in 1 Tbsp cornflour, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp sugar.
  • Place over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Add cherries and cook stirring occasionally until sauce is at a light boil (about 6-10 minutes). 
  • The sauce should be thickened and uniformly bubbling, not just at the edges, then remove from heat.
  • Cool to room temperature and reheat when tour waffles are ready.

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM

INGREDIENTS
  • 240ml double cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla paste or essence
  • 2 tsp icing sugar

METHOD
  • Whisk the cream and vanilla in a chilled bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until they hold a loose peak.
  • Sift the sugar over the cream and continue to beat just until it holds a soft peak. 
  • Take care not to over beat the cream or it will look curdy. 
  • Serve, or refrigerate covered for up to 4 hours.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

MY 15 MINUTE CREAMY PRAWN & TOMATO PASTA!


Sometimes I will quite spontaneously research a recipe to fulfil a particular craving that will suddenly hit me. One slightly hungover Saturday I could not stop thinking about a creamy, yummy prawn pasta but also was in no mood to make a mess in the kitchen or spend hours prepping.

Thank god then that I stumbled across this super easy yet very delicious recipe which you'll have plated up and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes! 

Using two pots max and with a tiny bit of chopping and a hint of stirring, you will end up with a wonderful bowl of pasta, literally MADE to be eaten on the sofa, in pjs, binge watching a new tv show of your choice. Not a very rock n roll Saturday night but hey, one we all need once in a while!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 300g raw king prawns
  • 450g tagliatelle
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 medium-sized whitw onion, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup passata
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

METHOD
  • Season the prawns with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Set aside. 
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook about 1 minute less than the recommended time. Drain and set aside. 
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. 
  • Add garlic and chilli flakes and cook until fragrant. 
  • Add prawns, onion, and tomato and cook, stirring occasionally until the prawns turn pink in colour.
  • Add tomato sauce and double cream and bring to a boil. 
  • Season with salt and stir in the pasta and cheese. 
  • Combine everything together and garnish with parsley. 
  • Enjoy!

Monday, 23 August 2021

MISO SALMON BURGERS


I am not usually a big burger person. For one I don't eat meat and I also really don't dig the dry, tasteless, heavy in the stomach and generally just really unexciting things which the vegetarian burger option tends to be - you know those bean / chickpea / some other kind of pulse patties that you have to literally drown in ketchup and mayo to make them edible. 

Quite surprisingly too, you don't really tend to get many fish burger options (not counting the unidentifiable fish that is is in a fillet o' fish burger from McDonalds) which I find rather strange as this Asian twist on a burger, made with the most fragrant and juicy salmon patty with miso was rather OUTSTANDING! 

Indeed it had the perfect texture, perfect flavours and was total a dream when combined with a brioche bun, siracha mayo and a super delicious, spicy and quick to make cucumber pickle.

 The final burger was definitely restaurant worthy, both in terms of looks and taste and a real revelation for any pescatarian out there! One to add to my regular recipe repertoire for sure and great for impressing a crowd!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 skinless, boneless fresh salmon fillet
  • 50g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 brioche buns (I loved these glossy ones from Hovis)
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • Knob of ginger
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • Olive oil
TO SERVE
  • Fries - normal or sweet potato, whatever you prefer!

METHOD
  • Roughly chop the salmon fillets. 
  • Put half into a food processor and blitz to a paste. 
  • Add the miso, ginger, lime zest, the rest of the salmon and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. 
  • Pulse very briefly until roughly combined. 
  • You want some nice chunky bits of salmon in with the paste rather than it all turned into mush. 
  • Tip the mix into a bowl and stir through the panko breadcrumbs. 
  • Shape into 2 burgers and chill whilst you make the smacked cucumbers.
  • Get a rolling pin or something heavy and hit the cucumber until it has collapsed and starts to break. 
  • Cut into random diagonal pieces. 
  • Place in a bowl and stir in the salt. 
  • Leave to sit for 10 minutes to draw out some of the water from the cucumber.
  • Now time to make the cucumber dressing. 
  • Grab a bowl, then crush in the garlic cloves and mix with 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, sugar and lime juice.
  • Mix the remaining Sriracha sauce with the mayonnaise.
  • Pour a drizzle of oil into a non-stick frying pan. Fry the salmon burgers for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Assembly time!
  • Drain the water off the cucumbers and mix with the dressing. 
  • Cut the buns in half, (toast in the frying pan if you like), spread each bun with the sriracha mayo. 
  • Top each with a salmon burger and pile on the smacked cucumber slaw. 
  • Drizzle over the dressing. 
  • Serve with fries!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

SUMMER VEGETABLE CURRY WITH CRISPY CHICKPEAS


Sometimes you just a whole load of veg and this wonderful vegan curry is packed with just that in the most delicious of ways! 

Pair seasonal veg like fresh corn and courgettes (though chuck in any veg you've got lurking in the fridge) with a super tasty broth, which features an unusual addition of tahini alongside your more classic curry spices and coconut milk, crispy chickpeas and crunchy slices of cucumber as finishing touch, and you end up with a bowl of goodness, food that is healthy, filling but not lacking in flavour in any way! 

It's a one pot dinner that still easily impresses guests and perfect for any summer day!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • Salt
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

TO SERVE
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • Rice 

METHOD

  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 
  • When the oil shimmers, add the chickpeas and season with salt. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas begin to crisp, about 5 minutes. 
  • Carefully remove 1/2 cup of chickpeas and reserve for topping, only if desired. 
  • 2.To the remaining chickpeas, add the courgettes, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, shallot, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Season with salt. 
  • Cook the veggies another 5-10 minutes or until they just begin to soften.
  • Stir in the curry powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the coconut milk, 1/3-1/2 cup water, and the tahini. 
  • Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. 
  • If the sauce thickens too much, add additional water to thin. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest, and cilantro.
  • To serve, divide the rice among bowls and spoon the curry overtop. Top with the reserved chickpeas, sesame seeds and sliced cucumbers. 
  • Enjoy!