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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Turmericthe brilliant yellow spice, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties–important weapons in the battle to stay on top of diabetes. (Cuminanother spice in this souphas these beneficial properties too.)

It also has a world class, gold medal ability to stain anything that comes into contact with it–so handle with care–or rather with a spoon is the rule!

It helps give this stunning summer soup–suggested almost as an afterthought in the lovely Riverford Farm Cook Book–its luminous colour.

 

Which apples to use?

I used Fuji last time, which are a favorite apple for me.

Next time I want to try Granny Smith.

You could try a mix too.

for 4

3 large apples–peeled, cored and chopped up

1 medium onion–chopped

25 gms/1 oz butter

1 tsp each turmeric, cumin, coriander, mustard powder (I use English mustard powder. Whizzing some seeds in a grinder is another option–or simply leave it out!)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 pint/450ml stock (I use organic vegetable stock cubes)

salt and white pepper

juice of half a lemon

creme fraiche or yoghurt (for garnish)

mint leaves (for garnish)

  • Melt the butter in a pan.
  • Add the onion and sauté gently to soften.
  • Add the apple pieces and the spices and mix in.
  • Add the stock and simmer gently for fifteen minutes.

  • Liquidise to a smooth texture, using a food blender or hand mixer.
  • A ladle and a half per bowl is perfect.
  • Top with a teaspoon of creme fraiche or yoghurt and a leaf of mint for garnish (if you have it).

We asked guests at lunch a couple of days ago to guess what soup they thought it was–it puzzled a few!

Serve it hot in the new apple season to come too!

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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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I promised a recipe for pork chops when I posted the red cabbage.

It is bitingly cold here and I found myself heading for the butcher not the fishmonger in Lautrec this morning.

“Bonjour, Monsieur–deux cotes d’échine, s’il vous plait.”

Spare rib chops are tastier and less prone to dry out than loin chops and they are the cheaper cut.

That’s what I settled for after waiting an age for Monsieur Fraisse to finish chatting to his previous customer–the cold was getting to me!

I learned this simple way by watching the irascible but effective chef Gordon Ramsay’s demonstration.

The rosemary needles take on a nice crunchiness and are worth eating with a mouthful of meat. As is the garlic.

Meredith finished off the red cabbage, which she’d missed out on the other day.

for 2

2 spare rib pork chops

rosemary and thyme

3/4 cloves of garlic–squashed, peeled and halved

olive oil

s&p

heat the oven to 200C/400F

  • Dribble some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on a shallow oven tray.
  • Scatter over a couple of the cloves of garlic.
  • Place the chops on top.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  • Strip the rosemary needles from the stem over the chops.
  • Do the same with the thyme (not so easily done).
  • Dribble more olive oil over the tray.
  • Put it in the higher part of the oven for about twenty minutes.
  • The cooking time depends on the thickness of the chops.
  • Best to cut into them to check–the juices should run clear.

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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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