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Posts Tagged ‘parsley’

…from the Starters and Light Lunches section of Delicious Dishes for Diabetics:

This tasty seasonal starter is useful for company it as you can prepare it beforehand–it makes regular appearances through the summer.

(A couple of ripe cherry tomatoes will add colour to the plate in a month or so.)

Serves 4

2 large aubergines

salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2–3 tbsp wine vinegar

Sauce:

3–4 cloves of garlic – crushed with a little salt
60 g/2 oz walnuts – shelled; if you do this yourself, take care that no pieces of shell get left with the kernel.

a handful chopped parsley

  • Wash and cut the aubergines lengthwise into 1.5 cm/1/2 inch slices.
  • Salt them slightly and put them in a colander for an hour or so, to drain off some of their bitter juice.
  • Dry them thoroughly and brush generously with olive oil on both sides.

Heat the oven at 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

  • Put the aubergines on well-oiled foil in a shallow oven tray.
  • Cook them in the oven for about 20 minutes to brown them, turning after 10 minutes.
  • While the aubergines are in the oven, make the sauce.
  • Mix the crushed garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Chop the walnuts in a processor or pound them in a pestle and mortar.
  • Combine these two ingredients with the parsley in a bowl and add another tablespoon of oil.
  • Mix well and check for salt.
  • Take the aubergines out of the oven, put them on a serving plate, brush with the vinegar and spread the delicious sauce on top.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.

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Below I reprise two favourite fishcake recipes that have proved popular. I think it’s worth tying them together because they are closely related–and worth sharing again for newcomers to the site.

They each have an ingredient that nicely replaces the potato normally associated with fishcakes: Smoked haddock for the first,  fresh dill for the second.

The first recipe, with smoked haddock, I once did as a starter on Christmas day–so I associate with winter.

The second recipe, with dill–reprinted from my cookbook,  Delicious Dishes for Diabetics–makes a for a tasty lunch outdoors in summer.

Dill is not always easy to find–even in summer–so I sometimes substitute chopped parsley (but dill is better!).

In truth, I’d willingly gobble either down, no matter the season!

Version 1 (Winter)

Salmon and smoked haddock

I used to love fishcakes–but the usual addition of mashed potato made them ‘off limits’ for me, once I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  Then I found an alternative–no-potato fish cakes–and no longer felt deprived!

My American wife tells me most Americans will find smoked haddock unfamiliar and maybe even daunting and hard to find–but from starting as a sceptic, she is a complete convert now.

This is adapted from a Gordon Ramsay concept….

for 4/6

1 lb/450 gms salmon fillet–with the skin and little bones removed
1 lb/450 gms smoked haddock–undyed, if possible and skin removed
1 large shallot–grated

egg–whisked

1 tablespoon parsley–chopped

salt and pepper
olive oil for sautéing

yogurt–I use no-fat organic, drained in a sieve for half an hour to thicken it.

  • Cut the fish into chunks and place into a food processor.
  • Pulse to a coarse mince–not too much or it will become a slurry.
  • In a bowl, mix the fish with the grated shallot, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Check the seasoning–raw salmon tastes good!
  • Add the whisked egg and mix in thoroughly.
  • Chill in the fridge for an hour if you’ve time.
  • Mold into little flat patties.
  • Heat the oil in large frying pan.
  • When it’s hot sauté the little cakes for 2 to 3 mins each side.
  • Serve with a small dollop of yogurt sauce (see recipe below); for this version of fishcakes, I’d omit the dill.

Version 2 (Summer)

Salmon Fishcakes with dill and grainy mustard

The dill and the grain mustard make the fishcakes special. They can serve as a tasty starter too depending on the size.

If you keep them small and cook them quickly, they’ll be crisp and brown on the outside and still succulent inside.

This version is adapted from one of my favourite British cooks, Nigel Slater.

400 g/1 lb salmon fillet – skinless and checked for bones

white of an egg

1 tbsp chickpea flour – of course, plain flour works as well

1 tsp grain mustard

juice of ½ lemon

bunch of dill – chopped fine

salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

  • Mix all the yogurt sauce ingredients and refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
  • Cut up the salmon fillets in roughly equal-size pieces.
  • Put these in a mixer and pulse three or four times. 
  • Avoid working them too much and producing slush at the end.
  • Put the salmon in a bowl.
  • Turn in the egg white and the flour, then the mustard, lemon juice and dill.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • It’s a good idea to taste the mix for seasoning at this point–the dill and the salt should come through.
  • Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and using a dessertspoon scoop out a dollop and make a ball.
  • Put this in the pan and flatten it gently.

  • Cook on a medium-high flame, crisping and browning the outside while making sure the interior cooks through.

Yogurt sauce

2 x 125 ml pots low-fat yogurt

1 tsp grain mustard

good pinch of chopped dill

salt

Serve with lemon wedges.

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Renown vegetarian cookbook writer, Rose Elliott found this in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery and adapted it and I have tweaked it a bit.

It’s a quick excursion to the East.

There was a small cabbage in the fridge and some fenugreek seeds on the shelf in the larder, which I whizzed into powder in a converted coffee grinder!

The fenugreek is optional, but interesting… (as its name implies this herb is found in the mediterranean region and has healing qualities as well as culinary uses.)

Our friend Myriam called in this morning and said it was minus ten last night and would not get warmer until Wednesday, so a bowl of something gently spicy and soupy for lunch might be just the ticket.

for 4

250gms/8oz red lentils

2 1/4 pints/1300ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

375gms/12oz tinned tomatoes–chopped

  • Rinse the lentils thoroughly.
  • Put them in a saucepan with the stock and the turmeric and bring up to the boil.
  • Cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes then set aside.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder (optional)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 onion–chopped

a small cabbage–outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and shredded

Juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper

Parsley or better still fresh coriander–chopped to sprinkle over

  • Heat the oil in a new pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds and cook them until they start to pop–a couple of minutes; they look brown in the photo but in fact stay black.
  • Mix in the curry powder and the fenugreek (if using) and let them  cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the onion and the cabbage and mix everything together well.
  • Cover the pan and cook  for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wilted cabbage mix to the lentils.
  • Bring the mixture up to the simmer.
  • Leave it to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley or coriander when you serve.

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My first posting on this blog was a year ago today–7th of February 2011!

Poaching Eggs–was a homage to one of my food heroines, the formidable Elizabeth David.

I can’t remember exactly the weather that day but it may not have been so different to today’s–which is nose-endangeringly cold.

So a long nod of thanks to everyone that has visited and those that continue to visit and thanks too for  the comments–they are all read and much appreciated.

AND special thanks to my in-house photographer and editor with whom discussion is always lively and from whom I learn a lot!

Here’s a salad to celebrate.

Seasonally crunchy (not much choice from the locals this morning)–with a juicy orange and some sunflower seeds, to put one in mind of seasons to come.

It got the nod at lunch today from Meredith–(though not the mackerel fillet that it accompanied–next time I’ll use less smoked sweet paprika!).

For 2

1 large fennel bulb–outer leaves removed, stood upright and halved through the middle, each cut half laid flat and halved again, then sliced very thinly

celery stalk–sliced thinly

half a small sweet red onion–sliced thinly

1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds–dry roasted in a frying pan on the stove top

1 tablespoon of parsley–chopped

a few shavings of parmesan

1 juicy orange–carefully peeled (lifting off the white pith), halved and sliced thinly

salt for sprinkling

1 tablespoon best quality olive oil for dressing

  • Mix the first seven ingredients together with care in a favorite bowl.
  • Sprinkle with salt and the oil–add more oil if you like.
  • Lightly turn everything over.
  • Check the seasoning and serve.

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Some people don’t like the idea of eating rabbit–memories of treasured pets linger in the mind. Meredith tells me she had a white rabbit called Honey Bunny growing up in suburban Chicago–which produced little honey bunnies every five weeks after the first batch–born one Easter (clever bunny!).

She is still in two minds about eating rabbit, which she claims is not eaten much in the USA.

Rabbit is tasty, lean meat and makes for a change.

You could try this with chicken.

Serves 4

1 large jar of white beans–cannellini, haricot or other white beans, drained

4 tablespoons  of olive oil

rabbit pieces or more

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds–dry roasted in a small frying pan and crushed

8 cloves of garlic–peeled

bay leaves

100ml/31/2fl oz white wine

300ml/10fl oz water

2 tablespoons of parsley–chopped

heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.

  • Heat the olive oil in a lidded pan or casserole that can go into the oven.
  • Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and brown them gently. (These hind quarter pieces were enough for us)
  • Add the coriander seeds and garlic and turn them over in the oil until the garlic colours a little.
  • Add the bay, the wine, the water and the beans.
  • Cover the pan and cook in a  low oven–(cooking it slowly helps to keep it moist)–for about 30–40 minutes.
  • Check the doneness of the rabbit–the juices should run clear.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley before serving.

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This is  a handy lunch or supper dish–for two here; but for four with the simple addition of two extra pieces of chicken and another leek.

It’s adapted from a recipe in Nigel Slater’s impressive tome Tender–a tour de force of loving care. In it he tells the story of the creation of the vegetable patch in the back garden of his London home, and what pleasure it gives him.

He plants, he tends, he gathers and he cooks.

More than just a book of recipes, it’s an enjoyable account of what can be done with a limited space in the heart of a city.

for 2

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 leg and thigh pieces of chicken 

2/3 leeks–outer leaves removed, washed and sliced into 2″ stubs

Juice and zest of a lemon

1 wine glass white wine

500ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

2 tablespoon parsley–chopped

salt and pepper

ingredients for 2

for 2

  • Heat the oil in a pan and slip in the chicken pieces.
  • Gently color them on both sides on a low to medium heat–8 to 10 minutes in all.
  • Remove them from the pan.
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add the leek stubs to the pan and turn them over in the oil.
  • Cover the pan and cook the leeks until they begin to soften–about five minutes.
  • Season the chicken pieces and return them to the pan.
  • Add the wine, the lemon zest and juice, a tablespoon of parsley and the stock.
  • Bring the pan up to the boil, turn the heat down low and cover the pan.
  • Cook at a simmer until the juices run clear when you pierce a piece of the chicken–about 20 minutes.
  • Check the seasoning and sprinkle over the remaining parsley.

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My copies of Rose Elliot’s vegetarian cookbooks, Not Just a Load of Lentils and The Bean Book, have been on my bookshelves for ages and are much thumbed!

First published in the 1970sher recipes have withstood the test of time–and the ingredients often fit in with my adopted way of eating.

This is adapted from a recipe in The Bean Book. 

I made it in the morning and gently reheated it in the evening–giving the spices time to settle and meld. We had it for supper last night and it was worth the wait.

Meredith is wary of pulses because of their tendency to cause flatulence.

This time the positive outweighed the negative and she gave it the thumbs up–phew!

for 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 small onion–chopped

1 clove of garlic–peeled & chopped

1/2  teaspoon of powdered cumin

1/2 teaspoon of powdered coriander

1/2 teaspoon each of garam masala ( an earlier post), turmeric, ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cayenne/chili powder

1 teaspoon fresh root ginger–peeled & chopped (optional)

1 large jar of cooked chickpeas–drained (the precise quantity is not critical!)

2 fennel bulbs–outer leaves removed, quartered and chopped

1 large leek–damaged outer parts removed, cut down to the base, washed and sliced

2 tablespoons of parsley or coriander–chopped

1 pint of vegetable stock (I use organic cubes diluted with boiling water.)

  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • Gently fry the cumin seeds until they start to pop.
  • Add the onion and garlic and soften–about 3 minutes.

  • Add the spices and mix them in.

  • Add the chickpeas.
  • Add the leeks and fennel and mix.

  • Add the stock–start with half a pint and adjust as needed.
  • Bring the mixture up to boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Fold in a tablespoon of parsley or coriander.
  • Sprinkle the second  tablespoon of parsley or coriander over the dish when you serve it hot with…
  • Brown basmati rice and yogurt sauce (see the next post).

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