Monday, 24 April 2017

Blue Corn Tortillas

So these tortillas are blue mostly because when I went to the Cool Chile Company Stall, that was all they had left! I made them to use up some of the leftover lamb I had, making enchiladas stuffed with beans, sweetcorn, courgette and of course lamb. These are really easy to make.

Blue Corn Tortillas
(Makes 8-10)

150g masa harina
pinch salt
120ml cold water
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix the masa harina and salt in a bowl. Add the water a bit at a time and olive oil and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Set aside covered for 20 mins. Divide the dough into 8-10 balls.

Flatten the balls of dough with your hands or use a tortilla press or roll them between two layers of cling film/greaseproof paper. Flatten to approximately 3mm thick.

To cook the tortillas, lightly oil a flat griddle pan or frying pan and place over a hot heat. Cook the tortillas for approximately one minute on each side, or until lightly coloured.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Slow Roasted Pomegranate Molasses Lamb Shoulder

So, as is traditional for Easter Sunday I made myself roast lamb. A whole 2kg shoulder of lamb, just for me! Of course I didn't eat all of it in one go but I had a pretty good portion of this last Sunday, It's meant to be served with couscous and salad. I went for Red Leicester Potato Gratin and Veg. Yum!

Slow Roasted Pomegranate Molasses Lamb Shoulder (from The Times)
(Serves 4)

1 x 2kg lamb shoulder, bone in, trimmed of excess fat
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 heaped tbsp ras el hanout
2 heaped tbsp oregano
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
375ml beef stock
2 generous tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus extra, to serve
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 170C. Put the lamb, garlic, ras el hanout, oregano, tomato, stock, molasses, salt and pepper in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours, turning the lamb halfway through. Uncover and cook, meaty side up, for a further 30 mins.

Remove the bone and transfer the lamb to a serving dish. Spoon over the pan juices and drizzle with molasses. Serve.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Smoked Trout Dip/Sandwich Filling

I served this is a wrap with some lettuce, it would be lovely with some cooked beetroot too.

Smoked Trout Dip/Sandwich Filling (from Hairy Dieter's Good to Eat by Hairy Bikers)
(Serves 2)

150g smoked trout fillet
2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
1 tsp horseradish sauce
1/4 cucumber, chopped
squeeze lemon juice
salt and pepper

Break the trout into small pieces, removing any bones and put them into a bowl. Add the cucumber, dill, creme fraiche and horseradish and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze of lemon juice.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Miso and Soy Salmon with Sticky Rice and Crispy Kale

This is a very tasty dinner dish. I loved the crunch of the kale with the soft rice and salmon.

Miso and Soy Salmon with Sticky Rice and Crispy Kale
(from The Guardian)
(Serves 4)

4 salmon fillets
400g sushi rice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
200g kale
1 tbsp oil

For the marinade
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp red miso
1 tsp chilli flakes

 Heat the oven to 200C.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients until well combined, then lay in the fish fillets, turn to coat all over, and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Put the rice into a pan with 600ml water and the rice vinegar, season with sea salt and a pinch of sugar, cover and bring to a boil. Immediately turn down the heat to its lowest setting and leave the rice to steam for 15 mins. Turn off the heat, and keep somewhere warm, still covered.

While the rice is cooking, remove the kale stems and finely shred the leaves. Spread the kale out on one or two baking sheets and spray with cooking spray to coat. Sprinkle on the sugar and a pinch of salt, and bake for seven to eight mins, until dark green and crisp, stirring halfway through, so they cook evenly. Watch the kale like a hawk towards the end, so it doesn’t catch and burn.

Put the salmon on an oven tray and roast for 12-15 mins, basting with more marinade halfway through.

Divide the rice between four bowls, then top each serving with a fillet of salmon, any leftover marinade juices from the tray and the kale. Serve with soy sauce, more vinegar and some chilli oil.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

White Bean and Spring Green Cakes

This recipe came with my veg bag a couple of weeks ago and they are delicious. I used red leicester for the cheese and that worked fantastically. I served them over salad with a tomato and aubergine salad over the top but they would be yummy with a poached egg or as a burger in a bun.

White Bean and Spring Green Cakes
(Makes 8)

350g spring greens, washed and trimmed
60g cheese (cheddar, Lancashire, Wensleydale etc), grated
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
20g butter
1 400g can cannellini beans
50g dried breadcrumbs
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
1 medium egg, beaten

Blanch the greens in a pan of boiling water until tender, 2-3 mins. Drain and run under the cold tap. Leave to drip dry.

Mash the cannellini beans with a fork. Squeeze the greens to get rid of the excess moisture, then roughly chop and add to the beans along with the spring onions, cheese, breadcrumbs, mustard and egg. Taste and season. Shape the mixture into 8 evenly sized cakes and chill for 15 mins.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry for 5-6 mins on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Scottish Oat Cakes

I've had a hankering for oat cakes for a while and what better way to get them than to make them myself! These are super east to make and feel lovely and wholesome.

Scottish Oat Cakes
(Makes about 14)

225g oats
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water

Pre-heat the oven to 190C.

Mix together the oats, flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Add the butter and rub together until everything is mixed and has the consistency of large bread crumbs.

Add the water (from a recently boiled kettle) bit by bit and combine until you have a somewhat thick dough. The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.

Sprinkle some extra flour and oats on a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

Place the oat cakes on a baking tray and bake for 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Beef Short Rib Poutine

So I had a bit of an indulgent weekend. This was my dinner on Saturday night and it was delicious. It takes a bit of time and used short ribs, which I've never cooked with before but it was scrummy.

Beef Short Rib Poutine (from The Times)
(Serves 4-6)

1 tbsp olive oil
1kg beef short rib, cut into single ribs
40g butter
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
500ml chicken stock
250ml beef stock
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
6 thyme sprigs, tied together with string
5 medium waxy potatoes, cut into wedges
200g melting cheese, such as provolone, raclette or mozzarella
Chopped parsley or chives, to serve

Preheat the oven to 170C. Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and cook for 5 mins until browned, then remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the pan. Cook the onion and garlic for 3 mins until lightly golden, then stir in the flour and cook for a further min, stirring. Gradually stir in both stocks, along with 250ml water, and bring to the boil. Add the worcestershire sauce and thyme, return the beef to the casserole, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the beef and roughly shred, then return to the casserole, together with the potatoes. Cover with the lid and cook for 45 mins until the beef and potatoes are tender. Remove the thyme and discard.

Scatter the pan with the cheese and return, uncovered, to the oven for 5-10 mins until melted. Serve with chopped parsley or chives.

Monday, 10 April 2017

More London Eats

So I thought I'd share some more London eats with you. I love going out to eat and over the last few weeks I've been out a few times to try some new places.

The first was On The Bab in Covent Garden. This is a Korean restaurant and it serves the best fried chicken I think I have ever eaten! We had the Sweet Spicy Fried Chicken and it was heavenly. We also had the Beef Bulgogi Bao, which were ok, but no better than Bao and we also tried the Veggie Bibimbap, which was very disappointing. But I would go back just for the fried chicken!

I also checked out Yard Sale Pizza, a new pizza place in Walthamstow. We went for an 18 inch The Aubgerine to share, which had garlic roasted aubergine, parmesan and basil leaves on it, it was scrumptious and it definitely proves my theory, the bigger the pizza, the better it is! They also have branches in Clapton and Finsbury Park.

In other Walthamstow eats, I also finally tried out Buhler & Co, a vegetarian restaurant.  I went for Sunday lunch with some friends and tried their Vege Fry Up - Fried Upma (a kind of potato cake), Fried Egg, Paneer, Chard, Tomato, Kusundi (which was a bit like ketchup) and a paratha. It was awesomely good and really filling. But I did manage to squeeze in some Chocolate Guinness Cake for pudding!

I then went to Androuet in Spitalfields Market for Wine and Cheese. We shared one of the set menus, which included a Moitie, Moitie fondue, Raclette over boiled potatoes with cornichons, a Charcuterie Plate and a Carafe of House Wine. It was absolutely delicious and I will definitely have to go back to try the toasted baguettes. We also had pudding and went for the French Toaste and Chocolate Mousse, yummy! 

I also had a day out in Kent and found myself in Hildenborough trying out Cafe 1809, the cafe owned by Dame Kelly Holmes. The menu was really interesting and even the things that didn't sound particularly healthy were healthified. I went for a Final Kick - a Roasted Chicken, Mango, Chilli and Coriander Salsa and Chilli Jam Wrap, which came in a whole meal wrap and with pop chips and salad. It was quite spicy and not all the mango was ripe, but a nice combination. 

For Mother's Day we made my Mum Afternoon Tea in my garden. There were Salmon sandwiches and chicken and sorrel sandwiches on homemade bread, crab and leek tarts, cheese and pesto cheese straws and cheese scones. Plus fruit scones, macarons, mini pavlovas and ginger cake, all washed down with prosecco. It was a sumptuous feast!

I also finally got to Roti King, a Malaysian by Euston Station that I have been wanting to try for ages.   We went for Nasi Goreng, Sayur Campur or stir fry veg and a Spinach and Cheese stuffed Roti. The roti was the star and I really want to go back to try their roti with dhal and a sweet one. The place is tiny and we had to queue a little to get in but it was worth it!

Last Friday night I went for a last minute meal in Cottons, Notting Hill Gate. They serve Caribbean food, and I was underwhelmed! I don't eat Caribbean food very often as I'm frightened of the chilli! So I went for Brown Stew Chicken, which was served with rice, coleslaw and a dumpling. It was ok, mildly spicy but just not very interesting and the meat had too many bones for my liking.

Following a hospital appointment last Monday morning, my Mum and I went to the German Gymnasium for breakfast/brunch and oh my goodness it was good! The lunch and dinner menus are quite pricey but brunch is very reasonable. I had the Black Forest Bake and it was proper comfort food. We will definitely be popping back as there are so many other things I want to try!

And lastly...I took a trip to Borough Market on Saturday and bought my lunch from Ethiopian Flavours. I went for the vegetarian combo, which was rice with three veggie dishes: yellow split peas, green beans and carrots and cabbage and carrots. Absolutely delicious.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Pea and Spinach Risotto with Mint, Cottage Cheese and Parmesan

This is one of the best risottos I have had in a while. It's packed full of veg and wonderfully tasty. It comes from Jamie's Super Food Family Classics, a book which I am really enjoying diving into. The recipes are super easy, always seem to work and taste fab to boot!

Pea and Spinach Risotto with Mint, Cottage Cheese and Parmesan
(from Super Food Family Classics - Jamie Oliver)
(Serves 4)

1 onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
1.2l vegetable stock
300g arborio rice
350g frozen chopped spinach
350g frozen peas
300g cottage cheese
1/2 bunch fresh mint
15g parmesan

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and leek and cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Stir the rice and spinach into the veg for 2 mins, the gradually add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and waiting for each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Repeat for about 20 mins or until the rice is cooked, adding the rest of the peas for the last few mins.

Blitz the cottage cheese with the rest of the peas and most of the mint leaves in a food processor until smooth. Stir most of the cottage cheese mixture through the risotto, taste and season. The divide between four plates. Serve with a spoonful of cottage cheese mixture, a grating of parmesan and some chopped mint leaves sprinkled over.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Pumpkin Korroke

These are one of my favourite Japanese things to eat out. We always have them when we go to Yo! Sushi. I didn't have any panko so I just used brown breadcrumbs. They were still really tasty served over salad.

Squash Korroke
(Serves 3-4)

500g squash/pumpkin
2 tbsp light soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 tbsp flour (if using normal pumpkin)
1 egg, beaten
70ml sake
70g flour
panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 200C.

De-seed and peel the pumpkin and cut into chunks. Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins until soft. Either puree of mash with the soy sauce and salt and pepper.

Make the pumpkin mixture into patties.

Whisk together the egg and sake. Add the flour and mix again.

Dip the croquettes into the batter, then cover in panko crumbs, making sure that they are evenly covered. Put onto a baking sheet and then into the fridge for 30 mins to chill slightly.

Heat the oven again to 200C. Bake the croquettes for 10-15 mins until golden and crunchy on the outside.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sweet Aubergine and Tomato Spaghetti Cake

This is an absolutely delicious spaghetti dish. It didn't stay in a cake form for me once out of the pan, but I didn't cook it for 40 mins, it was gone 8pm and I really wanted to eat! It was really tasty tho and an interesting way to cook an aubergine!

Sweet Aubergine and Tomato Spaghetti Cake (from Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver)
(Serves 4)

1 large aubergine, 350g
300g dried wholewheat spaghetti
olive oil
4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 red onions, finely sliced
½–1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
1 400g tin of plum tomatoes
300g cottage cheese
2 large free-range eggs
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
juice 1 lemon
70g rocket
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the whole aubergine in a large pan of boiling water. Sit something on top, like a colander, so the aubergine doesn't float to the top, cook for 15 mins, then remove to a board. Add the spaghetti to the water and cook according to packet instructions, then drain and place in a large bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, halve and roughly chop the aubergine about 1cm thick. Place a deep 26cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil and the aubergine, then pick in the oregano leaves. Add the onions and chilli to the pan. Cook for 15 mins, stirring often until golden and gnarly.

Pour in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then just under half-fill the tin with water, swirl around and pour into the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 mins, or until thick. Taste and season.

Pour the tomato sauce over the spaghetti, add the cottage cheese, eggs, and Parmesan, then mix together really well. Pour the spaghetti mixture back into the pan, pushing it into an even layer and packing it up at the sides. Heat over a medium heat on the hob for 2 mins, then bake on the bottom of the oven for 40 mins, or until golden all over. Tip out on to a board, grate over the remaining Parmesan, and serve top with rocket, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of balsamic.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Farro, Kale and Goat's Cheese Salad

A flavour packed grainy lunch. Nothing beats the flavour of roast cheery tomatoes!

Farro, Kale and Goat's Cheese Salad (from Waitrose Magazine Calendar)
(Serves 4)

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
250g can black olives, drained
1 tbsp capers
3 thyme sprigs
250g farro
200g kale, finely chopped
200g goat's cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put 2 tbsp oil, the onion, tomatoes, vinegar, olives, capers and thyme into a baking tray, season and roast for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, cook the farro according to packet instructions.

Drain the farro and tip into the baking tray with the tomatoes, discarding the thyme stalks, and toss together.

Heat the last 1/2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a high heat and add the kale. Fry, stirring occasionally until tender.

Add the kale to the farro and vegetables and divide between plats. Crumble ver the goat's cheese and serve.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Leek Rostiflette

This was so good, I've been raving about it to everyone. Proper comfort, stick to your ribs food. Yum!

Leek Rostiflette (from Sarah Beattie)
(Serves 4-6)

1kg potatoes, peeled
2 leeks
25g butter or 1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 sundried tomatoes, sliced
200ml milk or white wine
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
few gratings nutmeg
1 250g camembert

Preheat the oven to 200C. Parboil the potatoes for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, clean the leeks and cut into 5cm lengths. Cut each length into matchsticks. Melt the butter or heat the oil and fry the leeks with the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until starting to soften.

Drain the potatoes and coarsely grate. Add them to the leeks with the wine or milk, and parsley. Season well. Toss together and put into a shallow baking dish.

Slice the Camembert in half horizontally to give two rounds. Cut each round into quarters and arrange over the top of the leek and potatoes. Put in the oven for 20–25 mins, until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Mediterranean Garlicky Fish Stew

This is a wonderful garlicky fish stew. Really flavourful and tasty.

Mediterranean Garlicky Fish Stew (from The Times)
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 leek, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs of thyme
½ tsp fennel seeds
50ml white wine
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest
pinch saffron strands, finely ground and soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
pinch chilli powder or dried chilli flakes
500ml fish stock
salt and pepper
handful chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
500g fish fillet, skinned and chopped into chunks
200g raw prawns
150g squid rings

Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan. Add the shallots and fry gently, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned. Add the leek, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and fennel seeds and fry, stirring continuously, for about 2 mins until fragrant.

Pour in the white wine and fry, stirring, until the liquid is largely reduced. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until thickened and reduced. Stir in the orange juice and zest, saffron and soaking water and chilli powder or flakes. Add the fish stock. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the parsley.

Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 mins. Add the fish, prawns and squid rings and simmer until they are just cooked through – this will take only a matter of mins. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sriracha Pork Ramen

Yummy yummy noodle soup!

Sriracha Pork Ramen (from Waitrose Magazine September 2015)
(Serves 4)

4 pork shoulder steaks, finely sliced
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves torn
4 garlic cloves, chopped
40g ginger, grated
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 can sweetcorn, drained
2 sachets miso soup paste
2 nests egg noodles
4 eggs

Put the pork into a large bowl and toss with 1/2 tbsp veg oil and 4tbsp sriracha. Heat a wok and add the pork and stir fry for 8-10 min until sticky and charred, transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Add a splash of water to the pan and scrape up the sticky pits from the bottom of the pan, before pouring over the pork.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Cook the coriander stalks, garlic, ginger and white parts of the spring onions for 2-3 mins, then stir in the miso, sweetcorn, stock, 2 tbsp sriracha and 1l of water. Add the noodles and the eggs, cover and bring to the boil, simmer for 6 mins. Remove the eggs and cool under the cold tap, peel and halve.

Divide the noodles before 4 bowls. Pour over the broth, top with the eggs, pork, spring onion tops and coriander leaves. Scatter with sesame seeds.

Friday, 24 March 2017

White Chocolate Blondies

One of my friends has just had a baby so I went to see her last week and took some of these blondies with me. They are delicious and super easy to make!

White Chocolate Blondies (from The Recipe Critic)
(Makes 12)

280g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
170g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
265g white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with baking parchment and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla extract until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg.

Add the flour , baking powder, bicarb and salt and mix with a metal spoon until just combined. Using a spatula, stir in chocolate chips until combined. Press dough into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-23 mins or until edges are lightly golden brown. Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Spicy Sweetcorn Fritters

Spicy Sweetcorn Fritters (from Hairy Bikers Fast Food)
(Makes 12)

300g frozen sweetcorn
3 eggs
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
60g plain flour
1 tbsp coriander stems, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
cooking spray
salt and pepper

Dipping sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
juice 1 lime
1/2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Boil the kettle. Put the sweetcorn into a bowl and pour over the boiling water, leave for a minute or so for the sweetcorn to defrost. Drain and Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat. Add the soy sauce and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the plain flour and whisk to combine until there are no lumps. Add the coriander stems, garlic, spring onion and sweetcorn to the batter and stir thoroughly.

Heat a large frying pan and spray with oil. Add heaped tbsps of the batter into the pan, spacing them out well. Cook the fritters for 2-3 mins until well browned underneath, then flip them and cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

While the fritters are cooking make the dipping sauce. Put the soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, add the sugar or honey and stir until completely dissolved. Add the chilli flakes and garlic and stir to combine. Serve.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Frikadellen with Tagliatelle

I had these delicious meatballs for dinner last week. I was in the mood for creamy pasta and this hit the spot. 

Frikadellen with Tagliatelle (from Asda Magazine)
(Serves 4)

50g bread, crusts removed
500g beef mince
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 level tbsp mustard
1 tbsp oil
300g fresh pasta
300g green beans, halved
150g creme fraiche

Break the bread into small pieces, sprinkle over 2 tbsp cold water and soak for 3 mins. Put in a large bowl with the mince, half the shallot, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tsp paprika and 1/2 tbsp mustard. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. Shape into 16 meatballs and flatten a little.

Fry the frikadellen in the oil over a medium heat, turning occasionally for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the shallot to the pan and cook stirring often, until soft. Add the creme fraiche, 100ml water and the remaining mustard, parsley and paprika to the pan and heat until simmering. Return the frikadellen to the pan.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the green beans for the last 3 mins. Drain.

Toss the frikadellen and sauce with the pasta and beans. Serve.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cheat's Pea Soup with Ham, Pasta, Mint and Feta

I made this a little while ago and it is really easy and super tasty. I am really enjoying making things from this cookbook.

Cheat's Pea Soup with Ham, Pasta, Mint and Feta (from Jamie's Super Food Family Classics)
(Serves 4)

1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
300g frozen peas
300g frozen chopped spinach
100g smoked ham, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch mint
300g dried wholewheat pasta
50g feta

Put the spring onions into a blender with the peas and spinach. Tear in the ham, mint leaves and then cover with 400ml of just boiled water. Put the lid on and blitz until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if you need to.

Pour into a large pan on a high neat and add another 1.2l of boiling water. Smash up the pasta into random shapes and stir into the soup. Bring back to the boil and simmer until the pasta is cooked through, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water to loosen. Season.

Divide the soup between bowls and crumble over the feta. Serve.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Marrakesh Food Tour

On one of our evenings in Marrakesh we went on a food tour run by Marrakech Food Tours. This was  a fantastic experience and really gave us the highlights of Moroccan food. We started with Tangier, basically meat cooked in a sealed pot for hours and hours in a sealed underground oven. The meat was so tender and flavourful.

We then went to one of the olive stalls in the Souk, the variety and flavour of the olives was overwhelming! So good!

We then went to have a Moroccan Pancake or Msemen. We had one stuffed with tomatoes and onion and another plain drizzled with honey. We also realised that one of these had been part of our breakfast every day! They were really good and I want to try making these at home.

Next up were sardines cooked with lamb fat in flatbread. They were so good and didn't taste fishy at all, really very meaty.

We then looked at a communal oven where families came to bring their bread to bake. It was very hot!

Next up were Moroccan doughnuts. Again these were dipped in honey and a lovely sweet treat.

After that we had snails. Have had snails many times before in France, the Moroccan ones were smaller but just as tasty.

We then headed to the Women's market and enjoyed properly cooked couscous, made from scratch by hand. It was out of this world.

It was served with grilled aubergines. Yum!

Our last stop was for pastries and smoothies, the pastries were very nutty! I also went for an Avocado and Almond smoothie which was delicious. 

Our guide on this tour was very knowledgeable and we got to know more about the food of Morocco as well as the culture and religion. If you want to find out more about Marrakesh and eat along the way I would definitely recommend this tour.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017


We left Lisbon and flew to Marrakesh. We arrived mid morning and headed to the main square; Jemaa el Fna. We ate our first lunch in Cafe de France on a balcony overlooking the square. It was a great view point to see all the activity down below! They have a set menu of salad to start, tagging for main and then oranges for dessert. We went for the Vegetable Tagine, pictured below, and it was very good, full of veg.

We decided to have dinner in our Riad the first evening, just for ease really and this felt like a home cooked meal as we were the only people eating. We started with the traditional Moroccan soup Hariri, followed by a selection of salads, one was green bean and garlic, one was potatoey, one definitely featured persimmon and the final one was tomatoey! All were absolutely delicious. This was followed by chicken and olive tagine with couscous and then strawberries and yoghurt. This was a delicious meal.

We also had breakfast in our Riad everyday on the rooftop in the sunshine! First was a selection of breads with jams. Also when the owner discovered that we didn't drink coffee or tea they made us a beautiful fruit salad every morning.

On the second day we ventured to Jardin Majorelle or Yves St Laurent's garden out of the main Medina area of Marrakesh. I wrote down that we had lunch at Kama 19, but when I google I get nothing! Anyway it was a cafe/patisserie/ice cream shop just by Jardin Majorelle. We had Briques, another Moroccan speciality. The mini samosa looking things were filled with cheese and shredded lamb. The big one in the middle was chicken. The weird thing was that it was covered in icing sugar!! Still delicious though!

We thought that we'd have a rest on the rooftop of the Riad, so we chilled out with coke and some snacks, which tasted a bit like popcorn!

For dinner that night we went to La Trattoria in Gueliz on a recommendation. I apologise for the darkness of these photos but it was pretty dark in the restaurant! I went for Chicken and Mushroom Tagliatelle, my friend had a tasting plate of three different pasta, ravioli, cheese penne and spaghetti. It was really good and a nice break from all those tagines! I also had a pear and olive almond cake pudding. We also tried Moroccan wine, white, and it was, well not very good!

The following day we went to Cafe Clock for lunch. They had camel burger on the menu so we went for that. It was seriously the toughest thing I have ever eaten! Really don't bother!

That evening we went on a food tour of Marrakesh, more about that in a separate post. The following lunch was spent at Nomad, close to the spice market. We both went for the Nomad Couscous for main, which was super. We also had dessert. I went for the Moroccan Date Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and my friend went for the Chocolate Cake both were really good.

That evening we went to Cafe Bazaar and had tapas. We had way too much food, but it was yummy! We tried Moroccan wine again, this time red and rose and it was much better this time.

Our last lunch we had at the Riad whilst waiting for an airport transfer. We had salads to start with, lamb tagging and then a filo, kiwi stack. Yum!

I had a lovely time in Marrakesh and I really enjoyed the food. The food tour definitely gave us a flavour of everything available and I would totally recommend it.

Sunday, 12 March 2017


Over half term I spent a couple of days in Lisbon. Breakfast on the first morning was a stop at Confeitaria Nacional, just round the corner from our apartment. We had coconut buns, Pao de Deus and four different flavours of Pasteis de Nata; caramel, vanilla, chocolate and normal. The coconut buns were absolutely gorgeous and we both agreed that the vanilla custard tart was the best.

In the evening we went to Pensao Amor, a cocktail bar in a former brothel. I went for a Balsamic Daiquiri, which was different and even the waiter gave me a weird look when I ordered it! It was actually very tasty and went down very easily! My friend had a Mai Tai, which was better one she had mixed it!

We also visited Pasteis de Belem, which is supposed to be the original place for the Pasteis de Nata and I was told the best place to buy them. To be fair they tasted exactly the same as the one we had for breakfast the day before! 

Whilst in Lisbon I was obsessed with finding a Bifana, basically marinated pork in a bun. We went to O Afonso das Bifanas, a tiny hole in the wall place, which was full of locals eating their lunch. The bifana was out of this world. 

On our wanderings around Lisbon we also stopped off for a glass of fizzy wine and a bacalao croquette. I can't remember where this was but it hit the spot!

On our last night we went to Casa do Pasto for dinner. We found a little bar downstairs that served really good wine for 2€ a glass. We then went upstairs for dinner. We had bread, pickled carrots and olives to start with and then I had Veal Cheeks with Beetroot and Chickpeas. This was so tasty, and the meat just fell apart on my fork. Yum! They also specialised in Portuguese cocktails, with some really interesting flavours.