Monday, 30 May 2016

Meal Planning Monday

So it was meant to be a quiet week, but instead I went out a couple of times!

I went to Pho & Bun on Shaftesbury Avenue, we had a set meal. We started with chilli and salr squid, spare ribs and summer rolls. We then had bao. I went for the 28 day aged beef burger bao. The starters were really good but I was a bit disappointed in the bao.

On Sunday I wen to the Great British Tattoo Show at Alexandra Palace. There was a very cool postcard exhibition by all the artists featured at the show on the theme of Britain.

We also went to a vintage and alternative fashion show, which turned out to be mainly wedding dresses.

We then went to Syl's near Crouch End for tea. I had a banana milkshake and achocolate cherry mousse cake. Both were delicious.

On our way back to Finsbury Park we went to a garden which was open as part of Open Gardens at 36 Ashley Road. The garden was beautiful, with lots of acers and a beautiful water feature.

Next week, is actually quiet at the moment! Although next weekend, I'm going to see Alice Through the Looking Glass and to the Underwear Exhibition at the V&A.

French Onion Soup with Cheese on Toast
Spring Sausage One-Pot with Cauliflower Mash

Crab Mac n Cheese with Salad

Kale and 3 Cheese Calzone with Tomato Sauce

Tortelloni, Asparagus, Salmon and Creme Fraiche


Out with a friend
Crocodile Burger

Out with a friend

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Zesty Macaroni Salad

I loved the fresh taste of this pasta salad. The dressing is lovely and zingy with the lime juice and it is perfect for a summer picnic.

Zesty Macaroni Salad (from Eats Well With Others)
(Serves 4)

200g dried macaroni
juice and zest 1 lime
bunch coriander, chopped
4 tbsp salsa
3 tbsp sour cream or yoghurt
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground pepper
2 peppers (any colour)
60g cheddar cheese, grated
4 spring onions, chopped

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain, rinse under the cold tap, and drain again.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, coriander, salsa, sour cream, cumin and pepper.

Add the pasta, peppers, cheese and onions to the dressing, and toss to combine. Pack into a lunchbox or serve.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Slow Cooker Pulled Goat

I had a hankering for pulled pork but no pork, however I did have some goat in the freezer and hey presto - pulled goat. This dish is lightly spicy, makes the messiest sandwich and is lovely with barbecue sauce.

Slow Cooker Pulled Goat (from This Mama Cooks)
(Serves 6)

1 400g can chopped tomato
3 tbsp chipotle paste
125ml cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1.3kg goat meat
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder and salt in a 6l slow cooker to combine. Add the goat, onion and garlic and stir to cover meat thoroughly.

Put the lid on and cook on low for about 12 hours until the mountain can be pulled apart. Check every so often to make sure it’s not getting dried out. If the liquid levels are getting low add some water, broth or more tomato sauce. When done, shred with a fork.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wild Garlic Hummus

It's wold garlic season again, yay! So although I can't forage any myself I took a trip to Borough Market on a Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago where they had bunches of the stuff. I used some of it to make a hummus. There was too much tahini in the original recipe for me so I have cut the amount in the recipe below.

Wild Garlic Hummus (from Farmer's Girl Kitchen)

1 400g tin chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced
50g wild garlic, roughly torn
60ml olive oil
some of the cooking liquid from the chickpeas or water

Put all the ingredients down to the olive oil into a food processor and blitz. Add cooking liquid or water, a little at a time, until you have the thickness and texture you desire.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Foodies Read: Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard - Goat's Cheese Salad with Fresh Figs

This is my May Foodies Read. It's a memoir of an American meeting a French guy and moving to Paris. The trials and tribulations of ex-pat living.

The book itself it not actually all that interesting, there are definitely more interesting memoirs of moving to France out there and she does complain about a lot of things, which gets a bit irritating but the most interesting thing about this book are the recipes. I have bookmarked so many to make. I decided on making the Goat's Cheese and Fresh Fig Salad from the book as the weather has turned a bit sunny and I had all the ingredients in the house.

The salad was delicious and really evoked a French summer. The sweet juiciness of the figs is complimented by the flavour of the goat's cheese. It was such a lovely dish to sit outside and eat in the sunshine.

Goat's Cheese Salad with Fresh Figs (from Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard)
(Serves 2)

1 small head lettuce
4 figs, cut into quarters
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
250-300g soft goat's cheese
2 large thin slices sourdough bread

Preheat the grill.

Spread the goat's cheese on top of the bread and put under the grill until the cheese is softened and beginning to colour.

Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and mustard. Toss with the lettuce and the figs.

Divide the salad between two plates, top with the goat's cheese toasts and devour.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Stuffed Swordfish

This was seriously one of the most flavourful dishes I have made in a while. It was a little bit of a faff to make but it just was so so good. I served it with crushed potatoes and salad.

Stuffed Swordfish (from Cooking Channel)
(Serves 1)

1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2-3 cubes butter
60g wild mushrooms (shiitake, oyster), finely chopped
30g raw prawns, chopped
90ml white wine
1 tsp chopped spring onions
30g crabmeat
30g toasted breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 200g piece swordfish
40g plain flour
3 tbsp butter
60ml fish stock
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic (minus a pinch) and red pepper flakes and sauté for 5 mins. Then add the mushrooms and prawns and continue sautéing until the prawns turns pink.

Add half the wine and simmer for a couple of mins before adding the spring onions. Add the crabmeat and the breadcrumbs, to tighten up the stuffing, and season with salt and pepper. Leave the mixture to cool for about 5 mins before stuffing the swordfish portions.

Sprinkle the swordfish steak with salt and pepper and lightly dust with the flour. Then, once the stuffing is cool, cut a slit in the side of the fish and make a pouch with your fingers. Fill the pouch with the stuffing.

Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and saute the swordfish a over medium-high heat. Cook for 3 mins until lightly browned, then turn it over and put the frying pan in the oven for about 8 mins to finish cooking.

Once the fish is done, take the pan out of the oven, add the pinch of minced garlic to the pan and lightly brown over medium-high heat. Then deglaze the pan with the remaining wine. Add the fish stock and lemon juice to the pan and a knob of butter, stir until melted. Season the sauce with a little salt and add the parsley.

Take the swordfish out of the pan and place on a serving dish. Pour over the sauce and serve.

Meal Planning Monday

Last week was busy. I went to the theatre with a friend on Tuesday evening and before we went for dinner at Woodlands Indian Restaurant on Panton Street. We each had a Thali, one London Thali and one Delhi Thali. The food was all vegetarian and absolutely delicious, although there was way too much food! I will definitely go back though, I want to try the dosas.

We also had some visitors at school, the nursery class had eggs, which then hatched into chicks. They are gorgeous.

I took part in the Big Dance Pledge on Friday evening, it was an amazing evening and lovely to have friends and family who came to support me.

Then we had friends over for dinner on Saturday night and we made red mullet with fennel, jersey royals and veg. It was delicious.

This week things slow down. My Mum is staying for Chelsea Flower Show until Wednesday so that plan is a bit bitty. I'm then having a rest and over the bank holiday I'm hoping to get out in the garden and sort out the front of my flat.

White Bean, Mint and Lemon Dip and Salad Wrap

Smoked Salmon and Watercress Quiche with Salad
Out at a friends house

Tuna Pasta Salad
Rabbit Bolognese with Pasta

Falafel Bowl with Dill Yoghurt Couscous and Pickled Radish
Merguez Bean Pot with Flatbread

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Tortelloni with Asparagus, Creme Fraiche and Salmon

French Oneion Soup with Cheese on Toast
Creamy Brown Rice, Mushroom, Chicken and Asparagus Bake

Beetroot and Farro Burger
Crispy Duck Lasagne

Saturday, 21 May 2016

French Onion Soup

I haven't had French Onion Soup in a long time but I suddenly had a hankering for it a couple of weeks ago and so I made a batch for the freezer. It is delicious, one of those amazing comfort food dishes that warm you up, and actually really easy to make.

French Onion Soup (from Good Food Magazine April 2013)
(Serves 4)

50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
4 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml dry white wine
1.3l hot beef stock

Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised.

Add the garlic for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock.

Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins. Serve with melted cheese on toast on top.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Roasted Carrot Hummus

As well as lots of mushrooms I have also been getting lots of carrots in my veg bag, so I used them to make some hummus. This was delicious and served me well for breakfast last week.

Roasted Carrot Hummus (from Farmers Girl Kitchen)

200g carrots
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 400g tin cooked chickpeas
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 heaped tsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin

 Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 mins in the oven until soft.

Put the carrots and all the other ingredients into a mixer and blitz until blended and smooth. Spoon into a bowl and level to remove any air pockets. Serve.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

I fancied a tasty treat to round off my meal last weekend and what better than a 1 person serving mug cake. This is the first time I've tried making them and I made 2 over the weekend. The first one I cooked for 2 mins because it didn't look cooked on top after 1 min, but it went dry very quickly and was definitely overcooked. The second time I did it for 1 min 15 secs and that was definitely better. I tried mint chocolate chips and cinnamon chips, bother delicious.

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake (from Kirbie's Cravings)
(Serves 1)

4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp low fat milk
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients except chocolate chips into a microwave safe mug. Mix with a small, whisk until a smooth batter forms and no lumps remain.

Stir in half of the chocolate chips. Sprinkle remaining half over surface. Cook in on high in the microwave for about 1 min. Let cool a few minutes before eating.